In a unique show of solidarity, local political leaders across party lines, barring the NCP, have come together with civic activists to oppose the likely transfer of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner Shrikar Pardeshi. In a joint press meet held on Saturday, the leaders and activists warned that they would take to the streets if Pardeshi is removed.
Local NCP leader Azam Pansare was the sole exception in his party, for voicing his open support to Pardeshi.
Speaking with Newsline, BJP leader Eknath Pawar accused NCP leaders of hatching plans to remove Pardeshi. “An honest officer like Pardeshi has became a thorn in the eye of NCP leaders. The commissioner has put an end to mismanagement and corruption. Whether it was an issue of removal of illegal structures, handing over TDR or action against encroachments in river bed, Pardeshi has acted as per law without succumbing to any political pressure. Since NCP perceives him as a potential threat to its sovereign rule in Pimpri-Chinchwad, it has been after the removal of him,” he alleged.
Pawar also credited Pardeshi with instilling a sense of discipline in the PCMC administration. “There were several officers in the PCMC, who were overstaying their posts due to political backing. Pardeshi has transferred such errant and inefficient officials, sending a strong signal,” he said. Leaders of all parties including Shiv Sena, BJP, MNS, RPI, AAP and Nav Bharat Democratic Party among others were present on the occasion.
Meanwhile, the NCP leadership has ruled out allegations against it in the matter of the possible transfer of Pardeshi. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was quoted by TV news channels denying his party had any role in the likely transfer of Pardeshi. “I only brought Pardeshi to PCMC from Nanded… These are merely speculations about his transfer,” he said.