The Election Commission of India (ECI) has rejected Maharashtra government’s proposal for allowing senior IPS officer Deven Bharti (1994 batch) to continue serving as the Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) in Mumbai. With Bharti having served almost four years on the post – he was appointed on April 15, 2015, the ECI’s circular – which prohibits officers connected directly with elections to remain on the post if they had already completed three years in a district during the last four years – applied to him. But the state had sought an exemption in Bharti’s case, which was not considered. A similar request for extension to the tenure of Nashik Collector B Radhakrishnan (2008 batch, IAS) was also declined.
While Maharashtra Navnirman Sena president Raj Thackeray has been in talks with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party leaders on joining the Opposition’s alliance against the saffron combine in the state, his party’s sole MLA, Sharad Sonawane, is all set to rock the boat. It is learnt that Sonawane, who represents the Junnar Assembly segment, will soon rejoin the Shiv Sena. In fact, sources say that Uddhav Thackeray’s party could announce his induction on Monday itself. Ahead of the 2014 state polls, Sonawane, who was denied a Shiv Sena ticket, had walked over to join the MNS. Signaling his exit, Sonawane remained absent for MNS’s foundation day celebrations on March 9.
Desperate to improve his party’s tally in the Lok Sabha this time around, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar donned the role of a peacemaker this past week to end a long-standing political feud between two scions of Maratha warrior king, Chhatrapati Shivaji. Party MP, Chhatrapati Udayanraje Bhosle, and cousin, Shivendraraje, a NCP MLA, have been at loggerheads for some time now. The latter had also strongly opposed Udayanraje’s renomination for the upcoming poll, but after Pawar’s intervention, both the sides have announced a truce for now. Udayanraje will get NCP’s ticket in Satara, and Shivendraraje has agreed to support him.
Jostling For Space
For a long time, the Shiv Sena has been calling the shots in Maharashtra’s labour sector, with the party’s affiliated union bodies holding most clout. But word is that the BJP is now trying to consolidate its own position in the sector. After launching its own transport wing, the ruling party has now forayed into strengthening its presence among employees in the aviation and the service industry. BJP’s MP and party’s youth wing chief Poonam Mahajan has been asked to spearhead the initiative.
Eyebrows went up in the corridors of power when a serving IPS officer, Sandeep Tamgadge, invited popular Hindi television anchor Ravish Kumar as the chief guest at a social function he organised in Nagpur on Sunday. Tamgadge belongs to the Nagaland cadre and his family lives in Nagpur. He was the chief investigating officer in the 2006 Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter case (he was on deputation with the CBI), and had even deposed before a special CBI court, naming BJP president Amit Shah, (retd) IPS officer DG Vanzara, among others as “principal conspirators” in the killing.