MUMBAI: Chief minister Eknath Shinde is at the receiving end for granting quasi-judicial powers to bureaucrats. Leader of opposition Ajit Pawar, Congress legislature party leader Balasaheb Thorat and Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe strongly criticised the CM, saying his decision is anti-democratic.
“We are facing this situation as Eknath Shinde failed to expand his cabinet more than a month after he was sworn-in as the CM. Instead of bureaucrats, I feel all powers should be entrusted to the chief secretary. We are in a democratic setup. Legislators have no powers and there are no cabinet members either. Under such circumstances, bureaucrats have become more powerful than elected representatives,” leader of opposition Ajit Pawar said.
The general administration department led by chief secretary Manukumar Srivastava had on Friday promulgated a brief order to provide for granting of quasi-judicial powers to bureaucrats. Reports said the powers have been entrusted to bureaucrats so that the common man does not suffer. Routine appeals against the orders passed by regional level officials cannot be disposed by bureaucrats.
Congress legislature party leader Balasaheb Thorat said, “He must expand the cabinet immediately so that there will be no need to entrust the powers to bureaucrats. We will not be surprised if Shinde changes the name of Mantralaya to Sachivalaya – secretariat.”
Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe said a progressive state like Maharashtra should not be run by the secretaries. “It is the state’s misfortune that even after 36 days since Shinde was sworn-in as CM, he has not been able to set up the cabinet,” he said.
A statement issued by the CMO stated no powers of the cabinet members have been given to the bureaucrats and they will deal only with quasi-judicial matters.