Mumbai Confidential: Age Factor

Sandeep Ashar
Haribhau Bagade will turn 75 next month

Speculation is rife over whether Maharashtra s Legislative Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagade will meet the same fate as former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who was denied a Lok Sabha ticket on grounds of age. Bagade, fondly known as Nana, is a five-term legislator from the Phulambri Assembly segment in Aurangabad. A former minister and a staunch RSS loyalist, he will turn 75 next month, which is the age limit set by the BJP leadership for contesting elections.

What s The Deal?

Not everyone in the BJP is comfortable with the Shiv Sena s aggressive posturing over the power-sharing negotiations between the two allies. With Yuva Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray – who the Sena is projecting as its election face – contending that equal sharing of the CM s post was also a part of the deal between BJP national president Amit Shah and his father Uddhav Thackeray, a section of the state BJP leaders have aired their own concerns with the party s working president J P Nadda, who was in Mumbai for a two-day workshop. Nadda, however, steered clear of any discussion.

All The CM s Men

When it comes to the bureaucracy, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has placed officials who have worked with him in plum positions at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. This past week, Kailas Shinde, a 2013-batch IAS officer, who has formerly served as a joint secretary in the CMO, took over as the new district collector of Palghar district, while the CM s former officer-on-special duty Milind Borikar (2010 batch) was named as the collector of the Mumbai (Suburbs). Also, the Thane collector s post is occupied by Rajesh Narvekar (2009 batch), another former deputy secretary in the CMO. Milind Mhaiskar (1992 batch), Fadnavis s former principal secretary, is the vice-president and chief executive officer of MHADA board. Topping the list is Praveen Pardeshi (1985 batch), former additional chief secretary to Fadnavis, who is the civic commissioner of Mumbai.

Another Extension

The Centre has accepted a state government proposal for granting another two-year extension to 2003-batch IAS officer Sachin Kurve s deputation period. While Kurve belongs to the Uttarakhand cadre, he has been on deputation to the state since 2014. After serving as the collector of Nagpur and Mumbai (Suburbs), he was appointed as the secretary to the chief minister this past week. He is known as the CM s blue-eyed in the bureaucratic corridors. While Kurve s deputation was originally for a three-year period, he received a two-year extension earlier as well.

Backlash

After backlash from internet users over his demand that eggs and chicken be classified as vegetarian , Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has invited flak from within the party as well. Sources in the Shiv Sena say party president Uddhav Thackeray, too, was angered by the controversy. With the Assembly polls coming up, we are hearing that Thackeray has asked Raut to steer clear of such remarks. This is the second time in two months that the Shiv Sena leadership has snubbed Raut. In May, the party had distanced itself from a Saamana editorial seeking a ban on the burqa.

Running Feud

Eyebrows are being raised over the abrupt transfer of 2006-batch IAS officer Deependra Singh Kushwah from the post of chief officer of MHADA s Mumbai Board. According to the grapevine, MHADA s chairman Uday Samant, a Shiv Sena MLA from Ratnagiri, who was not getting along with the bureaucrat, had been demanding his transfer. Radhakrishnan B (2008 batch), who has succeeded Kushwah, has previously served as a collector (Ratnagiri).