State irrigation scam whistleblower Vijay Pandhare, on Friday, withdrew his application seeking voluntary retirement as chief engineer of the water resources department. Pandhare changed his mind after a delegation from the Maharashtra State Gazetted Officer'; Association requested him to continue in service till his retirement.
Pandhare had blown the lid off the alleged corruption in the state's irrigation department. The scam had led to the resignation of deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.
Pandhare was provided with personal security after he alleged harassment from workers of Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party. Last month, he put in his papers. He had little more than 12 months of service remaining.
However, the Maharashtra State Gazetted Officers' Association, of which Pandhare is a member, requested him to withdraw his application. "A delegation from our association met Pandhare on November 7 to request him to reconsider his decision. We want officers like him to continue and wish the government protects them," said GD Kulthe, general secretary of the association.
Confirming his decision to withdraw his retirement application, Pandhare said, "My colleagues felt I was the harbinger of some change [in the government] and I should not quit. I respect their wishes."