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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Mumbai confidential: Work from home

Visitors, who land up in the afternoon to meet bureaucrats in the CMO, often return empty-handed as on most days of the week these officers too are busy attending official meetings at the CM’s bungalow.

By: Express News Service |
Updated: January 11, 2021 3:45:11 am
Uddhav Thackeray, Maharashtra news, Mantralaya, Maharashtra IAS, Indian ExpressThe Uddhav Thackeray government seems to be very generous when it comes to rehabilitation of retired IAS officers.

The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) on the sixth floor of Mantralaya bears a deserted look as Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray prefers to conduct most of his business from his official bungalow at Malabar Hill, Varsha. Visitors, who land up in the afternoon to meet bureaucrats in the CMO, often return empty-handed as on most days of the week these officers too are busy attending official meetings at the CM’s bungalow.

Letter politics

Amid growing complaints regarding lack of communication within the Congress, writing letters to reach out to the party high command is fast becoming a norm. Mumbai Congress’s General Secretary and the President of the party’s Film and TV Union in the city, Vishwabandhu Rai, is the latest to use this route for his politics. Rai, a close associate of former MP Sanjay Nirupam, has written a series of letters to party president Sonia Gandhi in the past few weeks, detailing reasons why the Congress’s alliance with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra was detrimental to the party’s interest. Incidentally, Nirupam has also been vocal about it.

Grounded

The Congress leader has grounded a party minister from Maharashtra who was literally flying high in a chopper loaned by corporate. Our sources tell us that the high-profile minister’s frequent sojourns were brought to the high command’s notice by his rivals in the party. The high command was said to be even more livid at the minister’s choice of the corporate house.

Yours or mine?

Political partisanship within the influential builders’ community has risen manifold after the change of regime in the state. According to sources, the latest tug of war between the ruling coalition and the opposition over the slashing of the premiums was an outcome of this polarisation. A section of builders, who had enjoyed the patronage of the previous Devendra Fadnavis-led regime, now feel marginalised. But we know of at least two construction majors who have bucked this trend and remain “favourites” of both the sides.

Post-retirement sinecures

The Uddhav Thackeray government seems to be very generous when it comes to rehabilitation of retired IAS officers. Most of the officers who have retired in the past one year have been handed “cushy” post-retirement sinecures. We can also tell you that besides various regulatory commissions, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is becoming a much sought after retirement haven. Ironically, there are several serving IAS officers who are still on compulsory waiting.

For a select few

The much sought after post of chairman of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority falls vacant later this month. But the government is yet to issue an advertisement, as mandated, to invite applications from those interested for the post. Top rank bureaucrats, including Chief Minister’s Principal Advisor Ajoy Mehta and Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar, are believed to be in the running for the post.

Compiled by Sandeep Ashar

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