1990-batch IAS officer Bhushan Gagrani named new BMC Commissioner

Mumbai, March 20 (IANS) The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday directed the Maharashtra government to appoint Bhushan Gagrani, a 1990-batch IAS officer currently serving as the Additional Chief Secretary in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), as the new Commissioner of the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

With this order, incumbent BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal will be transferred.

The ECI also directed the state government to appoint IAS officers Saurabh Rao and Kailas Shinde as the Commissioners of Thane and Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporations, respectively.

In its compliance report submitted to the ECI on Tuesday, the state government suggested three names — Gagrani, Anil Diggikar, and Sanjay Mukherjee — for the post of BMC chief. This came after the ECI expressed displeasure over the state government not acting upon its previous orders to transfer Iqbal Chahal, who has already completed three years in office.

Chahal may be appointed as the Additional Chief Secretary in the CMO.

The government’s compliance was necessitated as the ECI in its directive issued on March 18 had asked the state government to transfer Chahal, while expressing serious displeasure for not doing it earlier despite its previous orders.

In a scathing letter to Chief Secretary Nitin Kareer dated March 18, ECI Secretary S.K. Das reminded that “the Government of Maharashtra did not comply with the order dated December 21, 2023 saying that no officer connected directly with elections shall be allowed to continue in the present district (revenue district) or in her or his home district or if he or she has completed three years in that district during the last four years or would be completing three years on or before June 30”.

He also said that while calculating three years, promotion to a post within the district is to be counted.

Das said the ECI’s instructions shall cover the officers deputed in municipal corporations.

“The Government of Maharashtra did not comply with the order and instead through a letter dated January 15, 2024, sought clarification if these instructions are also applicable to the divisional commissioners, municipal commissioners, additional commissioners, and the chief executive officer of Zilla Parishad,” Das added.

The ECI said that it has already clarified its position in this regard through a letter dated December 22, 2023.



Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.