Devendra Fadnavis bows to peer pressure, shunts out upright Navi Mumbai civic body chief Tukaram Mundhe

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday signed the transfer orders of Navi Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe, who is popular amid people as a no-nonsense incorruptible officer. S Ramaswamy, who was the Inspector General, Stamp Duty department in Pune, has been chosen to replace Mundhe.

According to Firstpost correspondent Sanjay Sawant, the wheels behind the move were set in motion six months ago, when Navi Mumbai corporators passed a no confidence resolution against him. However, Fadnavis, who handpicked the IAS officer to scale up development work in Navi Mumbai, had put a stay on the move in view of the BMC elections. It was also learnt that Fadnavis delayed the transfer to avoid public outcry against the move, as Mundhe enjoys a favourable image amid the people of Navi Mumbai.

Tukaram Mundhe. Twitter/ @Tukaram_Indias

Tukaram Mundhe. Twitter/ @Tukaram_Indias

However, the elected corporators from the region rallied against him, across party lines, and passed the no-confidence motion. BJP, it was learnt, was the sole party that voted against the motion in the civic body where NCP enjoys a majority. That Mundhe was unpopular amid politicos was common knowledge amid Navi Mumbai residents. This can further be ascertained by the fact that the Navi Mumbai Mayor, Sudhakar Sonawane had slated Mundhe's style of work publicly, on more than one occasions, before he was finally transferred from the area.

Mundhe, before being appointed as the NMMC chief in May 2016, was the Municipal Commissioner of Solapur. However, there too, all major political parties are said to have ganged up against him before he was transferred out to Navi Mumbai. Mundhe has not received an intimation on his next posting.

Meanwhile, Mundhe found rare support in journalistic communities, with senior journalists such as Rana Ayub, Sachin Kalbag rooting for him.

Earlier too, reports of Mundhe locking horns with Navi Mumbai corporators have surfaced. In January this year, he gained a rare "moral victory" with Fadnavis backing him, as the chief minister suspended a resolution unanimously approved by the municipality’s general body "permitting contract labourers appointed for housekeeping duties in the civic headquarters wages at par with permanently employed labourers from 2014 onwards," as reported in The Indian Express. Mundhe had opposed the resolution on the grounds that it would put unnecessary pressure on the city coffers.


Updated Date: Mar 24, 2017 23:11 PM

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