Maharashtra: NMC chief Tukaram Mundhe directs removal of deities’ pictures

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Nashik: After assuming charge as Nashik Municipal Corporation Commissioner, Tukaram Mundhe, known as an upright IAS officer, has directed removal of photos as well as idols of deities from various civic departments. Citing state government rules, Mundhe directed officials to remove images as well as idols of deities from offices of various departments as well as from the office of his personal secretary in the NMC building, sources said on Tuesday.

Mundhe’s orders have been complied with, they said. The Maharashtra government had last year directed the civic bodies to remove photos of gods or religious figures from the offices and state-run schools as solicitation of any religion by displaying signs and performing rituals was against the provisions of the Constitution. Before Mundhe took up the reins, NMC officials and employees of various departments used to perform puja every Thursday and Saturday.

He also directed officials to avoid interacting with media on Mondays. Mundhe, who was serving as Chairman and Managing Director, Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd, was transferred to Nashik last week. The 2005 batch IAS officer replaced Abhishek Krishna as the NMC chief. In 2016, the NCP-headed Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) had moved a no-confidence motion against Mundhe who was serving as the civic chief there. Mundhe had cracked a whip against illegal constructions and encroachments linked to some Navi Mumbai politicians, in October 2016. However, the state government suspended the motion in November that year.

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