Sitaram Kunte appointed new chief secretary of Maharashtra

Sitaram Kunte will take over as Maharashtra’s new chief secretary, with incumbent chief secretary Sanjay Kumar set to retire on Sunday. Sources said that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has signed the file of Kunte’s appointment and the orders will be issued soon. Kunte told The Indian Express that he will take charge as chief secretary on Sunday evening.

Kunte, who has been holding charge of the Home department as additional chief secretary since August last year, will retire in November.

While Kunte was sidelined in the previous BJP-led government’s tenure, he gained prominence after Thackeray took over as CM in November 2019.

Kunte had worked as Mumbai municipal commissioner between 2012 and 2015, when the Shiv Sena was ruling the civic body.

Kunte was also in the race for the chief secretary’s post in June last year, but Kumar bagged the top post then.

Kunte and Pravin Pardeshi, both from the 1985 IAS batch, were in the race for the top post of the state. Pardeshi, after being abruptly transferred from the post of Mumbai municipal commissioner, joined as a global programme coordinator at the United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITR) in Geneva, Switzerland, in August last year. While Pardeshi joined the state services recently to be in consideration, Thackeray picked Kunte for the top post.

In his bureaucratic career, Kunte has served on several posts including that of Dhule collector, deputy municipal commissioner of BMC, and additional municipal commissioner in BMC, before serving as the municipal commissioner of the civic body from 2012 to 2015. He has also served as the vice-chairman and managing director of MHADA, principal secretary in the Higher and Technical Education and Environment departments, and additional chief secretary in the General Administration Department, before taking charge of the Home
department.