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Fadnavis to decide top agri dept officials fate next week

The Maharashtra government will expedite inquiry against Additional Chief Secretary (Agriculture) Bhagwan Sahay, who has been divested of his charge following the alleged suicide of a son of a junior official of the department.

Devendra-Fadnavis

A decision over his future will be taken by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in the coming week.

State Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar said the government had initially planned to wait until Joint Secretary of Agriculture Rajendra Ghadge, whose 23-year-old son had committed suicide, returned.

“The Agriculture Joint Secretary may even take a month before he returns to work. That does not give us the liberty to keep investigation against Sahay on hold till then. We have thus now decided to send a team to his native village and record his statement,” Fundkar said.

“I will, in my meeting with the Chief Minister, brief him about the status of the case. Once we have the Joint Secretary’s statement, the Chief Minister will take a final call on the ACS in the coming week. Till then he remains divested of his charge,” said the Minister.

Sahay has been under the cloud after Ghadge’s son allegedly killed himself.

Sources in the Agriculture Department had said in the afternoon on August 12, Ghadge (posted at department office in Mantralaya) got a panic call from his son, who was suffering from depression, asking him to come home in Navi Mumbai as soon as possible, failing which he (the son) would end his life.

Panicked by the threat, Ghadge requested Sahay to let him go home early. However, Sahay turned down the request and made him work till regular office hours.

The protesting members of the Employees Union said that Sahay in his file notings wanted to know whether Ghadge had submitted a leave application or not.

Meanwhile, the charge of Sahay’s department has been handed over to Additional Chief Secretary, Finance, D K Jain.

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