The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has landed itself in fresh controversy, with its public image taking a beating over the transfer of Beed collector Sunil Kendrekar.
On the heels of the lavish wedding celebrations of NCP minister Bhaskar Jadhav’s children in the backdrop of severe drought in certain areas, the party is now on the backfoot over political interference in administration.
In Beed, an all party morcha (except the NCP) was organised at the district collector’s office to protest against the transfer. “Kendrekar is an honest officer. He has the support of locals. If he doesn’t join back, we will file a PIL,’’ said Anjali Damania, an Aam Admi Party volunteer.
The Gazetted Officer’s Association, Aam Admi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party have slammed the NCP for seeking transfer of the Collector claiming that the NCP is flexing its muscles to get an ‘honest officer’ out much before he completed his three-year tenure.
Once a BJP bastion, Beed district is now politically dominated by the NCP, with the party having five of its legislators from this district. Kendrekar was earlier sent for training to Netherlands even as Beed was reeling under the drought.
Several MLAs from the area first refuted making a request for the transfer. It was only late afternoon that deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and later party spokesperson Nawab Malik admitted that their public representatives were unhappy with Kendrekar’s performance and had complained about him.
“Our legislators had complained about him because his report to the Centre on drought left out many villages. As a result, drought relief work in Beed has been the poorest. The district had the lowest number of cattle camps and tankers. If relief work is not done then we will face flak tomorrow,’’ said Malik.
‘Delay in decision on Collector’s transfer will defame NCP’
Though citizens groups resorted to the streets and observed a bandh in Beed demanding that district collector Sunil Kendrekar be reinstated, the government did not take any decision on Thursday. According to sources, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan was utilising the opportunity to settle scores with the NCP.
Kendekar, 48, who has gained popularity by his upright conduct and action against corrupt practices in Beed, was reportedly told by the government not to take charge after he returned from Netherlands on Monday. According to an officer from the general administration department, no formal orders were issued prohibiting Kendrekar from taking charge. “The entire blame of the issue has been put on the NCP. More delay in decision would lead to the defamation to NCP.” he said.