With the current commissioner of police (Mumbai) Ahmad Javed set to become the next envoy to Saudi Arabia, the race for the coveted post of Mumbai police commissioner is beginning to heat up. Several eligible top IPS officers are likely to be considered by the BJP-Shiv Sena state government for the post.
One thing that chief minister Devendra Fadnavis (who has the home portfolio) has shown in the past is that he is not a stickler for rules, be it seniority or precedent.
The decision the government would have to take is whether they would want to keep the Mumbai CP’s post at the director general (DG) level which was done while putting Javed in the post or whether they would take it back to the ADG level.
Police sources have indicated if the post goes back to the ADG level then the 1982 batch DD Padsalgikar and 1987 batch Sanjay Barve seem the top contenders for the position. However, Rashmi Shukla of the 1988 batch, who is currently CP state intelligence department (SID) and VD Mishra of the 1984 batch are considered to be dark horses. Chances of the city getting a woman CP cannot be ruled out with Shukla or if the post is of the DG level then Meeran Borwankar in the CP’s seat could be a possibility.
A senior IPS officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the current state government has given importance to credibility more than issues such as seniority. During the appointment of Javed and even another key post in the city, long term plans were set aside as Javed had a tenure of four months, he said.
He pointed out that in appointing the Mumbai CP even the Centre’s inputs are taken very seriously by the current BJP government in the state.
The state government would also have to take into account that there are going to be a few retirements in the senior IPS level in 2016 starting with Javed in January 2016 and DG anti-corruption bureau (ACB) Vijay Kamble in February 2016.
One thing that the IPS lobbies have shown they are capable of is toppling the hot favourites from the list. Luckily though, so far no mudslinging has started.