New Chief Secretary and Glasgow ‘picnic’.
-Vikrant Hemant Joshi.
Yes, after a very long time writing on my favourite topic-bureaucracy! What to do, there was so much happening in Maharashtra politics, that ‘politics in bureaucracy of Maharashtra’ had taken a back seat. News of Ajoy Mehta flat getting seized was known to all, but heard the ‘tipper’ to the media about Mehta’s flat had himself walked down to the Times of India building and independent journalists and insisted on it as a Page 1 story. My lips are sealed on the couple of names of bureaucrats who were and are against the Mehta’s and the Saunik’s. Those who want to know, use public transport, manage your revenue and come and meet me.
Now coming to the most sensational tweet of mine yesterday (You can follow me on @joshivikrant75 on twitter) wherein I had tweeted a photo of our Environment Minister Aditya Thackeray’s and our bureaucrats chilling in Glasgow. Mind you, it wasn’t me, but activist cum baba’s friend Niraj Gunde who had raised the issue 2 days ago when it was known that IAS Valsa Nair Singh had flown to Glasgow without seeking any Government’s permission and that was questioned by Gunde. Obviously, I had to jump in and find out what was all this about. Now some details in my OFF THE RECORD style!
The United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP26 organised a conference from October 31st to 12th November. Here the attendees are President’s or Prime Ministers at the most accompanied by their own Environment Ministers and their Secretaries; there is no way our Aditya Thackeray or bureaucrats were invited directly by COP 26. Our MVA Govt requested Centre to let them be a part of it too, and MIND YOU ONLY 2 representative’s were initially given the nod to travel COP 26. There too our Aditya didn’t meet Joe Biden and all. Only a couple of sessions here and there these people were allowed to attend, I am told! Aree baba, in this conference only country heads are allowed, if state’s could be allowed, then every state of India would have sent their two representatives na? America would have sent their representatives from every state too nah ? But I will give Aditya the benefit of doubt that he wanted to ‘learn’ and adapt some new things there.
Now along with Aditya Thackeray only Environment Secretary Manisha Mhaiskar was supposed to travel to Glasgow. When the file reached CMO, PS Ashish Kumar Singh jumped on to the opportunity to see the UK free mein. He went to the CM and asked him to include his name too with Aditya and Mhaiskar. CM looked at him, and said, “Aap, Aap Kyun Jaa rahe ho? ” Ashish Kumar Singh (AKS) convinced somehow and then I heard the CM also told him that if you are going, then I’ll send Chock Lingam and other secretaries too 😉😉. Obviously CM was forced to sign the third flyer.
Now I heard from sources that Aditya had booked a 3 bedroom beautiful Villa via AirBNB (have pictures of that too). But to everyone’s surprise just when they 3 landed in Scotland, wifey to Ashish Kumar Singh and IAS Valsa Nair Singh knocked on the doors of the Villa to give him a surprise. Did she have all required permissions to travel from the GAD and CS? I doubt it!
But then came out photographs and yes it was ‘Mine only’ EXCLUSIVE news. When I saw the photo (Tweeted), I saw Aditya Thackeray, Ashish Kumar Singh, Valsa Nair Singh, Manisha Mhaiskar and VARUN SARDESAI in the picture; also some Tanmay and Ravi are accompanying too or there are residents from there. Don’t know who the last two are. But I didn’t understand one thing. For so many people and only a 3 bedroom villa ?
Ashish Kumar Singh 200% has attracted a lot of bad press since he preferred to travel especially when ST staff is on a strike and Maharshtra is suffering badly. Those who don’t know AKS is the Transport Secretary too. Mind you, when your Minister Anil Parab and ‘dalaal’ Kharmate were quizzed by ED and the department in itself is a question mark, a person of your stature should have stayed behind and drafted a plan to end the strike. But, but, but….And the worst I felt was, you called your wife too. Picnic hai Kya? Didn’t Minister Aditya reprimand you for this, there? A detailed inquiry should be initiated in this matter, CM sir!
Forget it, my blood boils when bureaucrats behave in such a way. A lot of bad mouthing and character assassinations statements came to my ears which I chose not to print. Moving on, straight forward and typical Kokanasta Brahmin CS Sitaram Kunte is retiring from the CS post and my sources said, he has not applied for extension as of yet, but in fact word is he too is looking for some plum after-retirement postings. Now who will be our next CS? Obviously the answer is Manu Kumar Shrivastava. But there is a glitch here. What I have heard from the NCP camp is that Manukumar’s high profile son or daughter wedding /reception at the Trident and I guess somewhere outside Mumbai too has not gone down well with the NCP; and another reason that has been told to me is Manukumar’s lack of ability to sign anything that comes before him. It is not that he is corrupt. It is just that he just does not sign any file and for a Government to run and function especially in these trying times and having BJP as nemesis everyone has to be on toes and work, is what my top source in NCP tells me. Hence they might suggest Sujata Saunik to be our First Lady Chief Secretary of Maharashtra, since it is Pawar Saheb himself who had initiated women empowerment issues and they would not like to have bad press the way Fadnavis did when he had not chosen Medha Gadgil as CS. Also Sujata Saunik is fast, aggressive in decision making, non-interfering, listens to bosses and is dead honest with her work. I haven’t met her in my life but 99.99% of the bureaucracy would agree to my thoughts.
That’s altogether a different story as Fadnavis would anyways be in a soup if he had chosen Medha Gadgil as CS when he was the CM as again seculars would be ready with their brickbats that Maharashtra CM and CS both are Brahmin…
So chances are Sujata, and not Manoj Saunik, is likely to supersede Manukumar as per NCP camp for the post of CS. It all depends on ‘what is decided’ for becoming CS for Sena, but mind you both Manukumar and Sujata are not ready with any bags as their image is clean. Wait & watch out for this space….
Vikrant Hemant Joshi.