High-profile bureaucrat Tukaram Mundhe might enjoy the support of the masses, but he continues to face backlash from politicians. The chief minister-led general administration department has cancelled Mundhe’s latest posting as a joint secretary with the planning department. Sources said that Finance and Planning Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar’s had conveyed strong reservations about working with the 2005-batch officer, which had led to the cancellation. On November 22, Mundhe was abruptly transferred from the Nashik civic commissioner’s post, following pressure from elected representatives.
Radhakrishna Game (2005-batch, IAS officer) will take over as Nashik’s municipal commissioner. Sources said that Game’s name for the post was finalised the same day when Tukaram Mundhe’s was transferred from the post, but official orders could not be issued since he was tied up with election-related work. Game has previously served as an additional collector in Nashik. He is currently positioned as the district collector of Osmanabad.
Winning The Day
While it still remains to be seen if the 16 per cent reservation extended to the Maratha community in jobs and education survives the legal test, word in the corridors of power is that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who had earlier been targetted by members of the community, has passed the political test. While several politicians, included Narayan Rane and Uddhav Thackeray, are warring for credit, senior politicians and bureaucrats agreed that Fadnavis has drawn maximum mileage from the move, edging out even the Maratha faces in his own Cabinet.
As expected, Director General of Police Dattatray Padsalgikar (1982-batch IPS officer) has been handed another three-month’s extension of tenure. To do this, the Centre has relaxed a provision of the All India Services (Death-cum-Retirement Benefits) Rule, 1958, which entitled only the chief secretary of a state for an extension beyond three months. With the appointments committee of the Union Cabinet sanctioning the latest extension, the state government issued a notification on November 30 — the day Padsalgikar’s original three-month extension period ended.
Why So Silent?
Ever since the agriculture department revoked the Rs 24.81-crore grant sanctioned to Cooperatives Minister Subhash Deshmukh’s family-controlled Lokmangal Multistate Cooperative Housing Society Limited for a dairy project, on grounds that dubious documents had been submitted to avail it, the Congress has been pressing for Deshmukh’s resignation. Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam had even led a delegation to Governor C Vidyasagar Rao in this regard. Understandably, eyebrows are now being raised on why the Congress legislators did not raise the issue even once in the recently concluded Winter Session of the state legislature.
A central team will inspect drought-hit areas in Marathwada later this week. Sources said the team will be on a three-day visit to the state from December 5. With almost half of Maharashtra hit by drought and more than 82 lakh farmers affected, the state has sought financial assistance worth Rs 7,022 crore from the Centre for drought relief measures. With the code of conduct for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls expected to kick in the first week of March, BJP leaders are pushing for the announcement of the package well in advance.