Time, obviously, does not heal certain wounds and the “pain” showed up in the garb of humour when IAS officers in Uttar Pradesh gave titles to their seniors at the service dinner of the “IAS Week”, which was held in Lucknow after a gap of six years. The titles, printed on the menu card, spoke volumes about the political divide that has gained permanence in UP and left some officers red-faced.

Amod Kumar, Pandhari Yadav and Alok Kumar, the three young officers posted in the Chief Minister’s secretariat who wield maximum power, were given the title “Gangs of Sefaipur”. Sefai is the native village of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. The reference was to their keenness to give preference to the CM’s village over the rest of the state.

Sailesh Krishna, another senior officer who has been a favourite with both Mulayam Singh and Mayawati but is now languishing in an “unimportant post” as principal secretary, labour, was given the title, “Ye kahan aa gaye hum, yuhin saath chalte chalte”.

UP chief secretary Jawed Usmani, who has returned to his parent cadre after a prolonged stint in Delhi and abroad, was given the title “Ghar aaya mera pardesi”.

Rakesh Garg, principal secretary to the CM, was conferred the title of “Badle badle mere sarkar nazar aate hain”. The officer is known for his aloofness and his colleagues insist the change took place after he got the coveted post.

Principal home secretary R.M. Srivastava, a compulsive chain smoker, got the title, “Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya, har fikr ko dhuen mein udata chala gaya.”

Principal finance secretary, Anand Mishra, known for his “miserliness” when it comes to money matters got, “Kahe paise pe itna guroor kare hai, yehi paisa to apno se door kare hai.”

Deepak Singhal, an officer known for controversies in the previous regime, was given the title of “Return of the Don” — a reference to the manner in which he has bulldozed his way back into the corridors of power.

G.B. Patnaik and Sanjay Bhoosreddy, both known for their simplicity, honesty and humility, were given a back handed compliment with “Sab kuchh sikha humne na sikhi hoshiyari”. Alok Ranjan, the president of the UP IAS Association was labelled as a “man of all seasons” while Arvind Singh Deo, principal secretary of irrigation, was given the title “hum kisi se kam nahin”. Deo is known for the power he wields in the state government.

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