17 May, 2021

Where Mum Is the Word

In Amravati, Rajendra Shekhawat’s writ runs on the strength of his mother’s exalted position

Where Mum Is the Word

In Amravati, the sleepy district in Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region, it pays to be the President’s son. Ask Congress MLA Rajendra Shekhawat, who managed—through a mere letter to the state government—to have a piece of land dereserved and added to the vast campus belonging to the Vidya Bharati Education Society (VBES), of which he was till recently chairperson.

Two months before his mother Pratibhatai Patil became President, VBES had secured a lease of nearly 10,000 square metres of land adjoining its college. This land was then with the National Cadet Corps; while effecting the lease, NCC had retained about 532 sq m for its own use—for parades of its cadets from across the district. Shekhawat wrote to state education minister Balasaheb Thorat asking if the parades could be held at alternative locations as the VBES wanted to develop the plot as a playground. The Jan 14, 2010, letter was acted upon with alacrity. Amravati division and district officials were asked for their opinion; they conveniently opined that...

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