It couldn’t be more embarrassing for Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who completed his 100th day in the office on Friday.
A journalist from Nagpur, who won the state’s Late Anant Gopal Sheorey Best Journalist Award last month, has complained that the cheque issued to him bounced because of validity reasons.
Rajendra Diwe, who works with English daily ‘The Hitavada’ as senior reporter, said the cheque of Rs 21,000 was returned by the bank stating that its encashment date had lapsed.
The CM had presented the only award for English language journalism at state-level to Diwe on January 20 in Mumbai. He got cheque no. 522095 bearing date October 26, 2010, issued by Government of Maharashtra’s Pay and Accounts Office, Mumbai. Director General of Information and Public Relations Vijay Nahata blamed Diwe for depositing the cheque late. “We had asked all winners to deposit their cheques before January 31, 2011, because the cheques were signed in October.”
Nahata said the former CM Ashok Chavan had asked him to hold the programme in October last. “The function was postponed (because of change of the government) but we didn’t change the cheques. We will issue Mr Diwe a fresh cheque.”
Diwe said from Nagpur that he expected this to be a lesson for the state. “They should rethink its policy. If they can take journalists for a ride, one can imagine the plight of the common people when they deal with the bureaucracy.”