Mumbai diary

Express News Service
Uddhav speeches strike emotional chordMaharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was known for his mild and boring speeches, despite carrying the legacy of his father and firebrand orator, the late  Balasaheb Thackeray. But after taking charge as chief minister,  Uddhav’s speeches have become sharper and wittier with full of punch. In the Maharashtra Assembly’s budget session, he  has attacked the opposition on various issues and played on the front foot. But even though these speeches are going viral, they continue to  be low on data and information. Uddhav remains more comfortable delivering the emotional staff.

IAS Pardeshi returns, but where does he fit in?Praveen Pardeshi, a 1985 batch IAS officer, was shunted out as Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner after a big surge in Covid-19 cases in Mumbai last year. Known to be close to the former chief minister, Pardeshi left to take up the post of Global Programme Coordinator at the United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITR) in Geneva last August instead of looking for a placement in Maharashtra. He had a chance to become the chief secretary of Maharashtra and rushed back to rejoin the state cadre last month. But given that his batch mate Sitaram Kunte has been given that position, it would be interesting to see what Pardeshi does as a next step. Will he go back to central deputation or stay back in Maharashtra? Time will tell.

BJP scores a point in Rathod resignationBudget session of the Maharashtra Assembly has been fruitful for Opposition so far. Chief MInister Uddhav Thackeray was initially reluctant to accept the resignation of Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod in connection with the suicide case of Tiktok personality Pooja Rathod.  Sanjay is a prominent Banjara community leader. Uddhav knows that losing him and his influence will not be good for his coalition government. But by constantly attacking the government, BJP has achieved its primary goal of having Rathod out of the cabinet. How BJP leaders build on this will be keenly followed.

Ex-chief secy to head electricity regulatory unit Sanjay Kumar may have retired as Chief Secretary of Maharashtra on February 28, but he is not going do disappear from public eye anytime soon. Kumar has applied for the post of chairman in the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission, along with another former Chief Secretary,  Ajoy Mehta. However, since Mehta has already joined the Maharashtra State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRera) as its chairman, the decks have been cleared for Kumar to take up the Electricity Regulatory Commission chairman’s post, considering that he is the only contender now. This  post has been lying vacant since the retirement of Anand Kulkarni.

Sudhir Suryawanshi Our correspondent in Maharashtra