The Maharashtra Government on Sunday cut a sorry figure after it revoked the transfer of 10 deputy commissioners of police in Mumbai. The transfers had been ordered by the Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
The Home Department had issued the order for transfer of the 10 DCPs on Thursday but had to cancel it on Sunday reportedly after Thackeray expressed serious displeasure.
The revoked orders say that the officers will return to their earlier postings, just days after they had assumed charge and continue there until further notice. The revocation order was issued and signed by Naval Bajaj, joint commissioner of police (administration).
Within hours of the cancellation of the orders, Singh was knocking at Thackeray’s residence Matoshree to argue his case. Apparently, it did not yield the desired outcome, as far as the city police commissioner is concerned.
MVA sources said Thackeray had questioned the timing of these transfers, especially since the government was engaged in a fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The surprise move re-ignited speculation over the differences between the constituents of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi. Sources said Thackeray had recently snubbed the NCP which had expressed displeasure over the extension of lockdown till July 31, without taking it on board. The flip-flop on the police transfers was linked to that.
On the day's developments, State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh tweeted by way of explanation, "The transfers ordered by the Mumbai Police Commissioner have been put on hold by the Chief Minister's Office and the Home Department jointly."
Deshmukh ruled out any discord in the government and said everything was going smoothly. The minister, however, did not specify any reason behind the cancellation of the transfer order.
At one level, sources said, it seemed the bureaucracy had overplayed its hand and since all party leaders were not kept in the loop, it led to the reversal of the transfer orders. However, the confusion still persists. Although Deshmukh reiterated that the transfers were effected by Singh, the order in this regard was issued by the Home Department.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi sources said that ‘’Singh had discussed the matter with Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. However, the CP had not alerted Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar had met Thackeray on Friday and called for increasing the coordination among the MVA partners to ensure stability of the government.