THE crucial meeting of the board of directors of Nagpur Smart and Sustainable City Development Corporation Limited (NSSCDCL), on the issue of Municipal Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe taking over as its CEO in February without the move being vetted by the board, will be held on Friday.
Mundhe has been under attack from the ruling BJP in Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), with Mayor Sandeep Joshi and Union Minister and Nagpur MP Nitin Gadkari terming his taking over as CEO as “illegal”. Gadkari had even written to the Prime Minister’s Office, seeking strict action against Mundhe.
Mundhe has, on his part, claimed that after the resignation of his predecessor Ramdas Sonone, he was asked by NSSCDCL Chairman of Pravin Pardeshi to take over as CEO “through mobile communication”. He had said that the issue was to be put before the board meeting, which could not happen due to the coronavirus disease upsurge in March.
With government officials forming half the strength of the 14-member board, Mundhe’s position may remain unassailed. Also, Mundhe will have to be anointed first as a board member, in his capacity as municipal commissioner.
The board has three BJP members and one each from Congress and Shiv Sena. Two of the directors are independent. Congress and Sena are unlikely to strengthen BJP’s hands in the Mundhe vs BJP tug-of-war, said sources.
Meanwhile, seven employees of NSSCDCL, whose contracts Mundhe had terminated, have moved the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court, seeking reinstatement. They have invoked the same point of Mundhe “illegally usurping authority as NSSCDCL CEO” in their petition.
The HC issued notices to the respondents, including Mundhe, on Thursday.
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