A woman IAS officer, recently transferred to Parbhani district in Maharashtra's Marathwada region as a collector, couldn't join the office as the outgoing collector handed over the charge of the post to his deputy at the last moment, an incident which raised allegations of involvement of leaders of a ruling party who didn't want the new officer.
Without taking name of any leader, a local BJP MLA on Monday said the Shiv Sena should keep in mind the support given to the party by the people of Parbhani while a social organisation held a protest demanding that the IAS officer, Achal Goyal, be given the charge immediately in the public interest.
The Shiv Sena heads the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra. Parbhani MP belongs to Shiv Sena while NCP leader Nawab Malik is the district guardian minister.
"Everyone was curious who would succeed Deepak Muglikar who retired on July 31. We learnt that IAS officer Achal Goyal was posted here and the news of her appointment was published in newspapers. (Ms) Goyal came to Parbhani in advance. But on July 31, (Mr) Muglikar was told by the state government to hand over the charge to additional collector Rajesh Katkar. This has happened due to some politicians which is shameful. This shows that the state government's claims on women empowerment are hollow," Jagrut Nagrik Aghadi president Madhuri Kshirsagar told reporters.
The Aghadi demanded intervention by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who heads the General Administration Department, in the matter.
"This incident has damaged the image of Parbhani. We demand that Chief Minister Thackeray intervene and re-appoint Achal Goyal as Parbhani collector," Mr Kshirsagar said.
Local BJP MLA Meghana Bordikar said good officers were never allowed to work in Parbhani by some vested political interests.
"Achal Goyal had reached Parbhani with her baby who is just a few months old to take charge. (Because of this incident) Good officers won't come to Parbhani. We need an IAS officer so that the district can do something good in development," she said.
According to Ms Bordikar, some political leaders were responsible for Ms Goyal not being given the charge.
"If they didn't want (Ms) Goyal, they would have met their higher authorities before she was transferred to Parbhani. This was done to satisfy the self-interest of few leaders. Parbhani has given so much to Shiv Sena till now. Their leadership should keep that in mind," the MLA said.
Ms Bordikar said she had spoken to state Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat.
"I didn't participate in the agitation but leaders of BJP in Parbhani joined," she said.
Ms Goyal was not available for comment.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)