NCP dares Pardeshi: Will you act against former commissioners?

Shrikar Pardeshi

Last week, minutes before his send-off on retirement from civic services on Thursday, PCMC health chief Dr Anand Jagdale was handed over a letter by Municipal Commissioner Shrikar Pardeshi, informing him that a departmental inquiry had been initiated against him for purchasing a costly machine that was lying unutilised. Two months ago, civic education officer Vishnu Jadhav faced a departmental inquiry a day before he retired from service. PCMC has stopped the retirement benefits of both of them.

The ruling NCP has objected to the manner in which the Pardeshi administration is "treating" senior officials. "The last day of the service is an emotional moment for officials. By initiating a probe before the send-off, the PCMC humiliates them. If the commissioner wanted to initiate a probe against Dr Jagdale, he should have done it much in advance as he was himself verifying the case," said a senior NCP leader.

NCP unit president Yogesh Behl, considered the right hand man of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, rushed to the commissioner's cabin and "tried to reason" that the final approval for the costly machine was given by the then commissioner and not Dr Jagdale. But Pardeshi remained unmoved, officials said.

Alleging that the commissioner was trying to play to the gallery, the NCP has now challenged Pardeshi to act against former municipal commissioners. "In Dr Jagdale's case, a former commissioner was the final authority for approving the purchase of the machine. Another commissioner had approved several tenders without discussions in the general body meetings. Will Pardeshi act against his senior IAS colleagues too?" NCP leaders asked. Behl said the issue would come up for discussion in the next civic general body meeting.

Opposition leader Shrirang Barne said, "There was no allegation of corruption in the machine purchase. The purchase was done during the former commissioner's tenure. Pardeshi should act against the former commissioner too."

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