In the run-up to the state Assembly polls, the Shiv Sena has stepped up its presence on social networking platforms. And as part of the measure, party president Uddhav Thackeray made his debut on Twitter this past week, notching up thousands of followers within no time. Son Aaditya is already very active on the microblogging platform. And if sources in the Shiv Sena are to be believed, he played a big role in convincing @officeofUT to start tweeting. Earlier this month, Aaditya was also instrumental in launching the Shiv Sena-controlled Mumbai municipality’s Twitter account.
After the Bombay High Court upheld the constitutional validity of the Maratha quota, the BJP is going all out to promote this as a major achievement of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Over the past few days, several posts and videos on how Fadnavis managed to do what none of the Maratha ex-CMs could have surfaced on social media. According to insiders, the push for the reservations had been Fadnavis’s biggest wager so far, and it is paying off for now. A senior party politician said that the key for Fadnavis now, as he leads the party into the state polls, would be to make sure that this does not alienate the OBC vote bank it has nurtured since 1970s.
In another glaring example of the sense of entitlement among politicians, a demand to run a special taxi service from CST to Vidhan Bhavan for legislators was raised in the legislative Assembly this past week. BJP’s Sunil Deshmukh, a former Minister of State, demanded the service as a matter of propriety for outstation legislators. His complaint was that when MLAs return from their Assembly segments for the resumption of legislative proceedings, they have to queue up for taxis, who often refuse the fare.
Cut To Size?
The Opposition raised serious allegations of wrongdoing against Maharashtra’s Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil. But more than the allegations, eyebrows are being raised in the corridors of power on how Patil, who enjoys the No. 2 position in the Maharashtra Cabinet, found himself isolated in the party. Some lawmakers even pointed out that Nationalist Congress Party’s Jayant Patil wasn’t interrupted even once by the Treasury benches when he was raising the allegations in the Assembly. While Patil has refuted the allegations, it was also pointed out that the CM is yet to defend his minister on the issue.
Nearly four months after he was appointed as Maharashtra’s Upa Lokayukta, former Director General of Police Dattatray Padsalgikar has finally been allotted an office. The Chief Minister-led General Administration Department has allotted a 2,000 sq ft space in the new administrative building opposite Mantralaya to make space for Padsalgikar’s new office. Officials from the state’s Industries, Power and Labour department, who were earlier occupying this space, have been ordered to relocate. Meanwhile, the GAD has issued orders allotting residential accommodations to the new ministers. But with some of these still occupied by their predecessors, some of the new ministers might be unable to move in soon, said sources.
It is not quite often that you see Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar lose his composure. But he uncharacteristically lost his cool and lashed out at the Vidhan Bhavan staff during Assembly proceedings last week. He was reportedly miffed at issues concerning two separate departments being clubbed in a single calling attention motion. Claiming that this is the third occasion in recent times when such a mistake has taken place, a visibly angry minister first demanded action against the concerned staff and warned later that he would block their pension if such mistakes were repeated.