In a closely fought contest, Chaudhari defeated Shiv Sena’s Ratnakar Fadtare by a margin of five votes. Chaudhari secured nine votes, while Fadtare received four votes. The position had become vacant after former chief Pradeep Dhumal resigned last week after completing his tenure of one year and three months.
“Improving the merit in civic schools is my top priority. Being a computer management student, I have decided to follow a systematic plan for my work. My efforts will be to achieve ISO certification for the education board and its schools in the coming days,” Chaudhari said.
For the NCP, besides Chaudhari, Laxmikant Khabia, Vasanti Kakde and Rajendra Kate were vying for the post. But, according to sources, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar gave preference to Chaudhari on the recommendation of NCP city chief Vandana Chavan.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) remained neutral in the elections, which has become a political battleground in recent years. Interestingly, the present term would most likely be the last, as the state has proposed dissolution of the board.
After the state directive in July, former chairman Dhumal and other board members had tried to save their tenure and had succeeded in convincing the government not to dissolve the board till the ongoing five-year term is completed But, like Dhumal, Chaudhari will also hold the post for one year and three months.
When asked if this would be the last elected body of the education board, Chaudhari said, “The final decision about the fate of the education board is expected to be made in December. Yes, my tenure is limited for one-and-a-half year.”