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Pranab is prez, but BMC fails to get the picture

It’s been more than two months since Pranab Mukherjee settled down at Rashtrapati Bhavan. But MiD DAY has nosed out certain government offices and educational institutions in the city that are still clinging on to the photos of his predecessor. For instance, most of the departments at BMC headquarters have Pratibha Patil’s portraits on their walls.


Living in the past: Vitthal Kharatmol, chairman of BMC’s education committee, still has former president Pratibha Patil’s portrait (circled) in his cabin at the BMC headquarters

Vitthal Kharatmol, chairman of the civic body’s education committee, said, “The portraits of the president come to the states from the central government. Since Pranab Mukherjee’s picture hasn’t reached our office, I suppose that’s why the former president’s photos are hanging on the walls.”

Echoing the sentiments of Kharatmol, principal of KPB Hinduja College T Shiware said, “We always receive the portrait of the newly-appointed president from New Delhi. However, this time it’s been almost three months since Mukherjee took over, but we have neither received any information nor his picture.

By protocol every government office across the country should have the picture of the president approved by the incumbent. It’s not compulsory for all educational institutions to display the portrait. But we do it every time a new president is appointed, as we receive the photo from New Delhi and feel it is important for students to know who the first citizen is.”

Naresh Chandra, pro-vice-chancellor, University of Mumbai said, “We expect to receive the portrait from the government. It hasn’t arrived yet.” ¬†Jayant Banthia, chief secretary of general administration department, Mantralaya was not available for comment.¬†

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