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Maharashtra: NCP demands Rs.11,000 as ‘donation’ from aspirants to consider them for Gram Panchayat administrator posts

Nearly half of Maharashtra’s 28,000-odd Gram Panchayats should have faced elections between March and November this year. With coronavirus restrictions, the elections are now postponed, giving an opportunity to the Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress to appoint administrators of their choice.

The decision of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), one of the coalition partners of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, to seek mandatory donations from the aspirants to administrators’ post to the various gram panchayats in the state has now stoked a massive controversy, reports Indian Express.

According to the reports, the NCP leaders in Pune have asked all the aspirants of the post to pay Rs 11,000 donation to the party to be eligible for the post.

The state election commission, following the coronavirus restrictions, had postponed the elections to gram panchayats whose terms have ended and recommended the appointment of administrators. Following that, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government had decided to appoint administrators to nearly 14,000 Gram panchayats across the state in consultation with district guardian ministers.

The Rural Development Department headed by Minister Hasan Mushrif of the NCP had issued orders for the Government Resolution on the appointment of administrators.

Taking advantage of the, the NCP has now resorted to forcibly seek donations from the aspirants to make them eligible for the post. In Pune, NCP District president Pradip Garatkar has issued instructions to taluka heads of the party to collect donations from the aspirants.

In Pune district, 750 gram panchayats posts have become vacant, which require administrators and it is expected that at least two thousand aspirants could apply for the posts, as per the Indian Express report.

Image Source: Mumbai Mirror

The letter written by Pradip Garatkar also sought details including caste, educational qualifications, previous experience in governance / social work and any post held within the party. The bank details have also been included in the letter.

“All taluka presidents (of the party) have been given guidelines regarding appointing administrators based on lists of their gram panchayats that would have gone to polls. Following those guidelines strictly, application forms as attached must be filled out by all applicants and submitted along with a non-returnable party fund donation of Rs 11,000 that must be credited to the official bank account of the NCP Pune district,” the letter read which carried the signature of NCP leader Pradip Garatkar.

NCP says no such instructions have been directed

Meanwhile, Maharashtra minister and senior Nationalist Congress Party leader Nawab Malik refuted such claims and said that the party has not given any instructions regarding seeking applications for the post of administrators. “If they are preparing for the coming elections and preparing candidates, that is fine. If they are doing this for the posts of administrators, that is wrong,” he added.

Nearly half of Maharashtra’s 28,000-odd Gram Panchayats should have faced elections between March and November this year. With coronavirus restrictions, the elections are now postponed, giving an opportunity to the Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress to appoint administrators of their choice.

Reportedly, all the three coalition partners have informally-agreed on a formula in which these appointments will be granted by the district guardian minister in consultation with local MLAs. In places where none of the Maha Vikas Aghadi parties has any MLAs, then the district minister will take a call on the choice of the candidate.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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