Mumbai Confidential: Home run

With his resignation as the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Nana Patole will soon be required to shift out of the sprawling official bungalow Chitrakoot at Malabar Hill. Patole, however, is not inclined to vacate the bungalow just yet. Eyeing a ministerial berth, he has requested that he be allowed to retain the bungalow’s occupation for now.

Big splurge

At a time when the government has enforced austerity measures on account of the state’s tight fiscal position, the spend on the upkeep and renovation of ministerial bungalows has become a contentious issue. In case of some of the senior ministers the expenditure incurred is way above prescribed levels and that there’s pressure on the bureaucracy to keep this under wraps.


Maharashtra’s Women and Child Development Minister Yashomati Thakur recently fell for a fake viral social media post, which had claimed that a poor farmer’s daughter from her constituency had cleared the UPSC exam. Without verifying its authenticity, Thakur publicly felicitated the woman, only to learn later that the post was fake. Left red-faced, Thakur has now ordered a probe into the episode.

Moving away

Two former MLAs and an ex-corporator from Mumbai who were with the BJP have switched over to the Shiv Sena in the last few days. While civic polls in Mumbai are still a year away, the development is an early indication of which way the political winds are blowing. Out of the three, former MLA Krishna Hegde and former corporator Sameer Desai had originally defected to the BJP from the Congress, while ex-MLA Hemendra Mehta was feeling sidelined within the BJP.

Hotting up

The race for Maharashtra’s next Chief Secretary is hotting up. While Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Sitaram Kunte remains the frontrunner for the post, a lobby within the IAS is working actively to thwart his chances. All eyes are now on the Chief Minister’s decision. Incumbent Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar is due to retire this month-end and is eyeing the post of chairperson of the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission.

Deflated balloons

The most significant upshot of the recent organisational overhaul in the Congress is sidelining of some senior state leaders who have traditionally held a lot of clout within the party. Party sources say some of them were not even consulted this time around.

Compiled by Sandeep Ashar