Will former Sikkim Governor Sriniwas Patil make a comeback in electoral politics? After Udayanraje Bhosle’s exit, Patil’s name has started doing the rounds as NCP’s probable candidate for the Satara bypoll. Patil, a retired IAS officer, now 78, is seen as a close associate of NCP president Sharad Pawar. He is a two-time MP from the erstwhile Karad Lok Sabha constituency, parts of which were delimited to the Satara Lok Sabha constituency in 2009. Meanwhile, former CM Prithviraj Chavan has denied reports that he was also in contention for the seat. Chavan is keen to be re-elected for the second time from the Karad South assembly seat.
At 79, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Sharad Pawar should be at the fag end of his career. But a crushing defeat in the Lok Sabha elections coupled with mass defections has left the NCP tottering, and the onus has yet again fallen on the septuagenarian to resurrect his party’s fortunes. Shaken by the mass exodus from within its ranks, the NCP patriarch has decided to embark on a statewide tour starting this week, where he would attempt to reach out to the demoralised party workers and reverse the party’s fortunes.
Continuing with the policy of rehabilitating senior bureaucrats with plum postings after their retirement, the Devendra Fadnavis government awarded key postings to Additional Chief Secretary-rank officers Satish Gawai (1984 batch IAS), and Medha Gadgil (1983 batch). While Gavai was named as the Chairman of the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC), which had gone without a full time head for 15 long months, Gadgil was appointed as the Right to Services Commissioner for the Konkan Region. Gadgil, who is the wife of Congress legislator Anant Gadgil, was earlier superseded twice for appointments to the Chief Secretary’s position.
Forced To Apologise
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had to pocket an insult when he was forced to apologise for the inconvenience caused to local commuters and traffic owing to the big banners and hoardings installed in Pune’s Kothrud by local party politicians to welcome his Mahajanadesh Yatra on Sunday. This didn’t go down well with Fadnavis at all.
Buzz is that senior state civil services officers, belonging to the 1995-batch, have lodged their protest over the state administration’s delay in their elevation into the IAS ranks. The proposal in this regard has been pending since January this year. Sources said that a delegation of SCS officers had even called upon the state’s Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta and Additional Chief Secretary (General Administration) Sitaram Kunte to discuss their grievances. But were told that they will have to wait for the model code of conduct for the elections to kick in before a proposal in this regard is processed with the Centre. Ironically at least 15 entry level IAS cadre positions are vacant.
Mumbai’s ex-Congress president Kripashankar Singh is in the limelight. Ending months of speculation, he finally quit the Congress last week. But more than his defection, it was the manner in which he bid goodbye that stirred up an intense discussion in the corridors of power. It turns out that the Congress had called a meeting of senior Mumbai leaders in Delhi to discuss the list of probables for 36 Assembly seats in Mumbai on the same day. Giving no inkling of his plan to quit, Singh wholeheartedly participated in the discussions, even recommending his own choice for many seats. It was only at the fag end of the meeting when he dropped hint of his own plan. The moment the meeting concluded, Singh, who had already typed out his resignation, rushed to All India Congress Committee’s (Maharashtra incharge) Malikarjun Kharge to tender his resignation. Some senior leaders were not amused at all.