OFF THE RECORD review on some headlines…
Hats off to outgoing Chief Secretary of Maharashtra, Manukumar Shrivastava! When there is a “frequent race” every year in Maharashtra to somehow keep the chair, power, residential quarters and all the facilities a bureaucrat enjoys after his retirement in Maharashtra, there are few ones like a Sanjay Kumar or Manukumar who have the GUTS to say a NO to extensions for their posts. But I read today in the papers that even if Manukumar is not asking for extension on the current post as the CS, he is going as Chief Commissioner, Right to Guarantee of Services. I have a basic problem here. Not Manukumar per se, but then those bureaucrats, IAS & IPS, who have finished their services and retired, why don’t they just pack up? Why the need to occupy various chairs for more than 5 years on various posts of the Government? Aree baba, there are your juniors, sometimes even your batch-mates who dream to retire as a Chief Secretary or a BMC Commissioner or Police Commissioner in their lives. What happens, when one gets an extension, others who are of the same batch or a batch junior lose out on this opportunity to retire at the highest posts. I feel that even other posts that all these veteran retired babus occupy after retirement should be filled with young and dynamic IAS or IPS. But then, where does the question of my feelings arise here? Filling pockets and controlling the coterie is the main job here after retirement! By the way, who is the next CS of Maharashtra? -Will be one of Saunik’s or do we have a surprise in Dr Nitin Kareer? And yes, few IPS transfers too are in my close sight. Police Commissioners at many places will be changed including the hometown of RSS and I am told a Jt CP of Mumbai, who is doing a job even of a PSI when he enters a police station un-announced, is on the radar of the Special Commissioner. I give this 4 months at the most, rest of my sources say-Kabhi bhi wicket jayega !
Political Confusion in Maharashtra!
Supreme Court verdict upon the decision on the disqualification of 16 MLAs of the Eknath Shinde faction, is yet to come. There might be 2 outcomes here. One, say the decision is deferred for a while and the situation remains the same, Eknath Shinde remains as the CM and Fadnavis as the DCM. In scenario two, if the opposition is to be believed, CM Eknath Shinde and 15 others are on slippery grounds, they claim CM Shinde will be disqualified with 15 others yet BJP has the numbers and we see DF becoming the CM for the rest of the tenure. Shinde and the other 15 will be taken care of later. Presidential rule is a slight far-fetched idea as the BJP would want quicker decisions and a working government for 2024.
Moving on, we all have to come to this agreement, that even this government is filling in pockets “especially the partners of the BJP”. These 40 MLA’s have successfully let me forget the top liaisons of Maharashtra such is their dominance in every department. So, most of you who know the inside story often must be thinking as to why is Fadnavis turning a blind eye to many things happening right under his eyes, my take is that if and only if Supreme Court disqualifies CM Shinde and 15 others, the ‘income’ for the last 7 to 8 months will be treated as a gift from the BJP to Shivsena for their daring act. To add more, a lot of Corporations across the state are run by Administrators. My gut feel says , Loksabha, Vidhansabha and Corporations elections all can be held at one time. Either in December, or in May! One election, one vote! By the way–do mark somewhere–Vinod Tawde is making a great comeback!!!
Aaditya Thackeray’s speech at Thane!
AUT was speaking at a rally organised by the Shiv Sena (UBT), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and Congress — which comprise the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition — in protest against an alleged attack on a woman worker of the Sena (UBT) in Thane city few days ago. I felt Aaditya has a mass reach but he needs to be told as to where to take a pause and where to give a punch. Also Aaditya, my dear breathe and break the sentences when you speak. You spoke in one breath! Also you tried to mimic CM Eknath Shinde but I think you should leave this part to Raj Thackeray as apart from the Late Balasaheb only Raj has the ability to have people in splits. No one does better than him, remember Jayant Patil was mimicked and called Chakit Chandu ? Anyway, another important observation I find in this whole Maharashtra political battlefield is– that both Eknath Shinde and Fadnavis have not been able to completely eradicate the popularity and sympathy of and for Uddhav Thackeray. A senior Journalist told me, Vikrant more than me and you in such situations, a Corporator is the only person who has the pulse of people. He is day-to-day in touch with a lot of people who form his constituency and most of them are joining the Shinde faction. So relax, the people’s mandate is with BJP and Shivsena. I tend to slightly disagree here. I can see not all of it 100% but there is surely a huge amount of sentiment for Uddhav Thackeray too in Maharashtra even today. But why I don’t know, a source told me a big thing! He said Uddhav Thackeray will extend his support to PM Modi for 2024 MP elections. A recent trip to Rajasthan with the family has been a game changer. And the actions of Sharad Pawar on Adani and Ajit Pawar support for the EVM will ruffle Uddhav Thackeray and my prediction of 2024 can be a possibility!
Vikrant Hemant Joshi.