Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has flashed the caste card again. Even as the state government’s petition challenging the Bombay High Court’s decision to disallow reservation in promotions is still pending in the Supreme Court, the Fadnavis-led general administration department has issued orders permitting state departments to continue with such reservation till the SC decides on the issue.
Transport Minister Diwakar Raote is sulking. He is being blamed the most for the breakdown in the talks with state transport union leaders, which ultimately saw buses go off the roads for four days during Diwali festivities. Insiders say Raote does not enjoy the “equation” his predecessors had built with union leaders, and that this is hurting him. The controversy hasn’t done the minister’s declining stock within the Shiv Sena any good either. There has been a buzz in the corridors of power that party chief Uddhav Thackeray isn’t quite happy with Raote’s performance as a minister.
The reluctance of politicians to give up perks of office, especially the spacious official bungalows, long after they have demitted office, is now common knowledge. But they are not alone. Word is that when a senior bureaucrat, who has similarly overstayed his welcome, was recently asked to shift out of a government bungalow, he involved an influential politician to lobby for him, and stay this action. The ploy worked.
Behind The Scenes
There is a buzz about the “role” played by two political parties in recent agitations involving the anganwadi and the state transport workers. Both the agitations also ended up exposing the lack of effective negotiators in the Fadnavis government, forcing the chief minister to step in on both occasions.
Missing In Action
When Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis finally visited Yavatmal Sunday to review the deaths of farmers due to pesticide poisoning, a glaring omission from the visit appeared to be that of Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar, once promoted as the most prominent agrarian face in the Fadnavis government. Earlier, Fundkar had invited criticism for being “missing from the action” during the farmers’ protests. Meanwhile, with Fadnavis’s trip coming after the Opposition staged a morcha on the issue, the CMO had kept Sunday’s trip under wraps till the very end.
Police officers from the Kolhapur range, led by high-profile IPS officer Vishwas Nangre Patil, showed they have a softer side too. Patil and his team took time off to make Diwali merrier for the families of 103 slain policemen and Army personnel. Actor Akshay Kumar joined the initiative and sent a cheque of Rs 25,000 to each of these families, along with a personalised ‘thank you’ note.
Compiled by Sandeep Ashar
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anushka Sharma, Shilpa Shetty: Fashion hits and misses of the week (Feb 11 – Feb 17)