Twist In The Tale
The race for the post of Maharashtra’s new chief secretary has taken another interesting turn. Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) Dinesh Kumar Jain — who was being considered favourite for the coveted post — has caused a flutter by signalling that he may just opt for voluntary retirement. While Jain is due to retire in January 2019, he has applied for post-retirement position of member, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission, which falls vacant this May. Word is that this could be Jain’s fallback option if he does not bag the top post.
Two more additional chief secretaries in the Fadnavis government have also hinted at plans of opting for voluntary retirement. ACS (Industries) Sunil Porwal, a 1983-batch IAS officer, and ACS (Personnel) Mukesh Khullar, of the 1985-batch, have also applied for the same post-retirement position of Member, MERC, that falls vacant in May. Porwal is due to retire in December this year. Last May, then ACS (Public Health) Vijay Satbir Singh, too, had opted for voluntary retirement. He was later appointed to the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority as a member.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ardent support for feminism has melted hearts world over. His cabinet has an equal number of men and women, and he has been calling on world leaders to follow his cue. His commitment to the cause will be on display during his visit to Mumbai. According to information, the first thing on the Canadian PM’s day-long itinerary on February 20 is a roundtable of women business leaders at Hotel Taj Mahal Palace. He is also scheduled to interact with Indian film industry influencers later.
VVIP Culture The Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi witnessed high drama a few days ago. According to sources, BJP’s Rajya Sabha member Sambhaji Raje Chhatrapati, a descendent of Marathi warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji, created a ruckus over the tariff charged for the 25 rooms allotted to his guests at the state’s guest house. Matters reached such a head that the CMO had to step in. Eventually, the MP appeared to have had his way, with the government agreeing to collect highly subsidised tariffs from his guests as a special case.
The Fadnavis government appears divided over the move to hang large safety nets at Mantralaya to catch people who may jump off to commit suicide. Speculation is rife that senior bureaucrats of departments concerned were not privy to the decision, with several bureaucrats also of the opinion that it had sent wrong signals. Meanwhile, in the wake of multiple suicide bids at the seat of power, Chief Secretary Sumit Mullick has issued orders asking department secretaries to reserve an hour every day to hear public grievances.
The game of musical chairs for postings in the state bureaucracy continues. On February 7, the chief minister issued orders transferring then Nashik Zilla Parishad CEO Deepak Singh Meena (2013-batch) as Managing Director of the Maharashtra State Cooperative Milk Federation. Sources said the transfer orders were issued on the basis of complaints raised by elected representatives and Nashik Divisional Commissioner Mahesh Zagade. Meena, however, did not join his new office. On February 14, fresh orders were issued naming him as CEO to the Washim ZP. The CMO has also reportedly put on hold the order posting former additional municipal commissioner of Pune Prerana Deshbhratar (2013-batch) as a deputy secretary in the social justice department, following her request for an alternative position in Pune.
While the BJP government has chalked out major plans to celebrate the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji, a senior minister admitted that derogatory remarks made by BJP corporator and Ahmednagar’s now suspended deputy mayor Shripad Chindam against the Maratha warrior king has dented the plan. Just as the ruling side went into damage control mode, a BJP corporator from Ulhasnagar dived into the controversy by tearing Shivaji’s poster and making objectionable remarks. Compiled by SANDEEP ASHAR