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Post rejig, Mayor-Sharma truce ends

AFTER A brief lull, daggers have been unsheathed again at Indore Municipal Corporation - that favoured battleground for warring BJP factions led by MP Sumitra Mahajan and PWD Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2006 16:11 IST

AFTER A brief lull, daggers have been unsheathed again at Indore Municipal Corporation - that favoured battleground for warring BJP factions led by MP Sumitra Mahajan and PWD Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya.

The hostilities were renewed after Municipal Commissioner Vinod Sharma initiated a massive administrative reshuffle on Tuesday without bothering to consult or inform Mayor Dr Uma Shashi Sharma. Several senior officials close to the Mayor, including an Additional Commissioner, were removed from key posts and relegated to the sidelines in the shake-up.

The reshuffle has finally brought to an end the uneasy truce that had prevailed ever since Sharma was catapulted to the Indore Municipal Commissioner’s post, reportedly upon Vijayvargiya’s insistence.

Although he occasionally launched probing forays, Sharma until now avoided a direct confrontation with the Mayor, a Sumitra Mahajan camp follower. All that, however, changed with the Commissioner flexing his administrative muscles yesterday.

Coupled with his veto of the mayoral council’s recommendation to appoint 109 muster roll employees the message came through loud and clear: Sharma was no longer going to be chary about locking horns with the Mayor if that was what it took to please his benefactor.

The Commissioner’s newfound belligerence places the Mayor in a delicate situation. The lady is already busy fending off the PWD Minister’s attempts to poach on her territory.

Seemingly unable to outlive his earlier avatar as Indore Mayor, Vijayvargiya has unilaterally announced several developmental schemes, like the creation of a lake at Navlakha, during recent trips to the City.

And then there’s the standoff with Collector Vivek Aggarwal - another official loyal to Vijayvargiya - over the construction of City bus stops on IMC land.

Although she has intermittently fired salvos against Aggarwal, the latest being the demand to route funds for State Government welfare schemes to the Corporation instead of handing them over to the district administration, her punches have lacked power.

Battling both the Collector and her administrative chief at the same time, however, may prove to be more than Dr Uma Shashi Sharma can handle. More so as the political fortunes of her mentor Sumitra Mahajan have flagged even as Vijayvargiya’s star has risen under the Shivraj Singh Chouhan regime.

The Mayor’s difficulties have been compounded by the fact that at least two members of her council, Chandu Shinde and Lal Bahadur Verma, are die-hard Vijayvargiya loyalists who spare no attempt to make her tenure a thorny one.
Others, like Lalit Porwal, who do support her, are motivated not by loyalty, but by personal gains and cannot be expected to stick with her if the going gets tough.

The Mayor, however, seems unconcerned, at least on the record. “As the administrative head the Commissioner is well within his rights to appoint officials where he deems fit,” she asserted when queried about Sharma’s aggressive stand.

RBI to issue new...
some notes having a Star (*) in the number panel in the space between the prefix and the number (eg: 4CC*456987). The release further mentioned that Star series numbering concept is used for replacing the defectively printed banknotes and also as an ongoing efforts of RBI to benchmark its procedures against international best practices.

First Published: Jun 08, 2006 16:11 IST