Political interference in officers’ transfer and posting increases in Maharashtra?


The biggest issue plaguing among the state administration in the regime of Maha-Vikas-Aghadi is political interference as almost every week several officers, particularly from police, revenue and forest departments are being transferred.

Fresh allegations mounted at “Mantralaya” over the transfer of several forest range officers on the recommendations of VIP leaders of Shiv Sena and ministers and it’s a clear violation of rules.

Earlier, the Maharashtra government’s decision to revoke an internal reshuffle ordered by Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh in July has triggered fresh speculation of differences within the MVA coalition. Singh had shuffled 10 deputy commissioners of police within Mumbai, but the decision was withdrawn by the government without explanation within three days. The move had stirred up a controversy because it’s unusual for a police commissioner’s call on internal transfers to be stalled by the government, and has been seen as a lack of coordination among the three parties in the ruling alliance — the Congress, the Shiv Sena and the NCP.

While the home department, which oversees police, is handled by Anil Deshmukh of the NCP, the cancellation of the transfers was said to have been undertaken at the behest of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. However, later the state witnessed massive transfers among police officers in recent past and it’s still on.

Now the new controversy generated after the transfer of RFOs in forest department. It was said that several forest range officers have transferred on the recommendations of ministers and senior party leaders of Sena, NCP and the Congress, violating the existing laws.

Sources further added that on July 27, Assembly Speaker Nana Patole had recommended three Range Forest officers for transfer to Bhandara and Gondia districts. At the same time, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh also recommended four Range Forest officers for posting in Wardha, Narkhed and Nagpur districts.

Surprisingly, despite the instructions of Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod, when Additional Chief Secretary Manu Kumar Srivastava did not issue transfer orders as per these recommendations, he was removed from his post.

It is worth noting that recently Maharashtra BJP President Chandrakant Patil demanded a CID inquiry against the Aghadi government over transfer scams. Patil alleged that ministers in the MVA government charge a hefty amount from the officers in return for getting preferred postings.

Earlier, the opposition had also cornered the government over the transfer of IPS officers in the Home Ministry. Now, after these new allegations of political interference in the transfers of forest department officials, the Maharashtra government has once again landed in the dock of questions.

Will the chief minister, Thackeray look into the matter and ensure the people of the state that his coalition government is a transparent one where such political interferences hardly work!

M Charu