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PMC education board set to go headless

Chief education officer and chairman had to step down recently over the flowerpot procurement scam, now the ‘clean’ deputy chairman has handed in his resignation

A leadership crisis is brewing in the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) Education board. After Chief Education Officer Tukaram Supe and PMC education board Chairman Ravindra Chaudhari had to vacate their posts recently, the education board’s deputy chairman, Narendra Vyawhare, has tendered his resignation.

Vyawhare, a Congress party representative, submitted his resignation to the party’s city president Abhay Chajed yesterday.
Vyawhare claimed that he was satisfied with his two-year term at the board and is happy that his name wasn’t involved in any scam unearthed by the board during this period.

“I submitted my resignation to Chajed only because I received directions from party’s state high command. However, until my resignation is accepted, I will continue as the chairman of the board,” Vyawhare said.

The education board was mired in controversy recently after flowerpots for municipal schools were allegedly procured for a sum ten times more than the market price. Following an inquiry into the irregularity, Supe was first sent on 15 days forced leave by the PMC commissioner and then suspended on the basis of an inquiry report that blamed him for his role in the misuse of funds.

After Supe vacated the post, the opposition demanded the suspension of board chairman Chaudhari, who represents NCP. After pressure mounted, the NCP asked Chaudhari to vacate his post.

When Vyawhare was queried why he shouldn’t be pulled up as he was handling the top post during the scams exposed, he said, “Many times the board gets targeted by NGOs and activists for the wrong reasons. In the recent flowerpot case, I feel that the action taken against board chief Supe was unjust.”

Interestingly, Vyawhare tendered his resignation only after receiving directions from the Congress state office bearers, as earlier he refused to resign on the command of Chajed.

When contacted Congress city president Abhay Chajed said, “I received his resignation today. Let’s see how things work out.”

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