Mumbai confidential: Sule’s brainchild

It was apparently parliamentarian Supriya Sule’s idea that her father, NCP president Sharad Pawar, and poll strategist Prashant Kishore should meet. The two met last Friday over lunch at Silver Oaks, the Pawar home in Mumbai, triggering intense speculation about a national opposition front. Sule was amongst the first to make the congratulatory call to Kishore after the TMC win in the West Bengal Assembly polls. Insiders say she had wanted the party to rope in Kishore even for the 2019 elections.

Kanjurmarg again

CHIEF MINISTER Uddhav Thackeray’s one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi, which has triggered much curiosity, was most likely about the state government wanting to locate the Metro car-shed at the Kanjurmarg salt pan whose ownership is claimed by the central Salt Commissioner, according to sources. The matter is sub judice, and the Shiv Sena wants a quick out-of-court settlement before the BMC polls due early next year.

Kunte’s statements

THE CBI and Mumbai Police both recorded the statement of Chief Secretary S J Kunte recently – the central agency in the Parambir Singh case alleging corrupt practices by the former state home minister Anil Deshmukh, and the Mumbai Police in the case relating to former state intelligence chief Rashmi Shukla who tapped phones to investigate allegations of corruption in police postings. CBI recorded Kunte’s statement by video conferencing, while a team of Mumbai Police met Kunte and registered his statement in connection with the Rashmi Shukla case. Kunte has already publicly stated that Shukla misrepresented the investigation when she made a request for permission to tap phones.

Sharing learnings

MUNICIPAL COMMISSIONER I S Chahal has been invited by the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie to address 182 IAS probationers of the 2019 batch on how the BMC contained the Dharavi outbreak, as well as topics like the fight against Covid-19 and the jumbo centres created by BMC.

Photo finish

AFTER WEST Bengal began printing CM Mamata Banerjee’s photo on vaccination certificates, Maharashtra was planning the same for Uddhav Thackeray, the justification then being that it was the state government that was buying the vaccine stock. But before the thought could be put into action, PM Modi announced that the Centre would procure the entire stock and distribute to states. Thackeray missed seeing his photos on the certificates by a few days.

Staying on

MAHARASHTRA HAS retained two of its senior health officials who were due to retire this month for another year. The doctor couple, Dr Satish Pawar and Dr Archana Patil, have been the backbone of the battle against Covid-19. Officials say Health Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas, who has been in Jaipur looking after his unwell mother, specially flew down to Mumbai to persuade the doctors to stay.

Quick fix

THE FALSE ceiling of Sahyadri guesthouse, which came crashing down some days ago, has been replaced in record time. Within five days, the PWD fitted a new ceiling at a cost of Rs 14 lakh.

Beavering away

DIRECTOR GENERAL of Police Sanjay Pandey and Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale work seven days a week. No Sundays or public holidays for them. Their colleagues are wondering what’s keeping them so busy.

Contributed by Shubhangi Khapre, Yogesh Naik, Vishwas Waghmode, Mohamed Thaver and Tabassum Barnagarwala