Lucknow: With the change of guard in Uttar Pradesh just a matter of time, state Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh, considered close to Chief Minister Mayawati, put in his papers on Tuesday night.

Singh had been on an extension of two years. Though his term was to end March 31, he chose to call it a day on Tuesday, when the Bahujan Samaj Party was voted out, and announced that he would be putting his term to an end on March 9. A pilot by profession, Singh had been placed at par with the Chief Secretary by Mayawati.

His appointment as cabinet secretary had raised the hackles of the state bureaucracy.

Singh's writ ran large across the state as he enjoyed the status of a cabinet minister and was accountable only to Mayawati. A few months before the state went to polls, his name was mentioned in the Wikileaks cables, wherein he was reported to have used some 'strong words' against Mayawati while in discussion with a foreign diplomat.

While many had thought the man would be axed, knowing the temperamental nature of Mayawati, the mercurial Chief Minister had held a press conference and announced that more the people got after him the more powers she would give to him.

The Samajwadi Party, which is preparing to take power in the state, had trained its guns on him on many occasions.