High-profile NCP Minister Dhananjay Munde may have saved his job for now after allegations raised by other politicians against the woman who had accused him of rape. But sources in the NCP say that the controversy has hit Munde’s stock in the party and also in the government. The social justice minister, who is seen as a close confidant of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, retains his position, but has been cut to size. No wonder then that those close to him are rooting for an early completion of the probe ordered in the matter.
The recently-completed elections for the Mumbai Youth Congress president’s post turned out to be a farce, with complaints of largescale bogus voting overshadowing the election. The poll, conducted online, saw nearly 4 lakh voters. Senior Congress leaders believe that close to 50 per cent of these may well be bogus. In any case, the winner doesn’t automatically bag the post. The Congress high command will still have a final say.
License To Hit
Five months after his abrupt transfer from the Nagpur civic commissioner’s post, high-profile IAS officer Tukaram Mundhe was last week appointed as secretary of the Maharashtra State Human Right Commission, which is seen as a side posting in administrative circles. But the new post may well give the 2005-batch IAS officer, who is fast earning the reputation of being a no-nonsense bureaucrat, the license to pin state departments on cases of human rights violations.
For the last decade-and-a-half, the posts of managing directors of the loss-making Maharashtra State Financial Corporation Limited and Maharashtra Petro Chemicals Limited have been used for parking senior IAS officers, who have lost favour with the government. But recently, the state industries department, which oversees the functioning of the two corporations, has written to the chief minister-led general administration department demanding that henceforth, IAS officers not be posted in these positions. It has cited the rising wage bill of these loss-making units to justify its demand.
In last week’s Cabinet meeting, Congress Minister Nitin Raut found himself isolated and singled out, with even ministers from his party vocally opposing his department’s proposal regarding the state bearing additional costs for installation and GST component for solar-powered farm pumps under the PM-KUSUM scheme. The proposal did not go through and Raut is said to be miffed with his colleagues in the Congress for not backing his proposal.
A crackdown on retired bureaucrats overstaying in government accommodation is on the cards. With several IAS officers and senior officials awaiting allotment of quarters, the Uddhav Thackeray government has decided to initiate action against some retired IAS and IPS officers, who are yet to shift out of their government allotted accommodation. However, it is still not clear if action will also be initiated against serving officers who hold more than one official accommodation.
Compiled by Sandeep Ashar