IAS officer Puja Khedkar’s WhatsApp chat goes viral amid controversy over demands for separate cabin and staff

  • Puja Khedkar, a probationary IAS officer in trouble over allegations of misusing her authority, has been transferred from Pune to the Washim district of Maharashtra.

Livemint
Updated11 Jul 2024, 03:46 PM IST
Trainee IAS officer Puja Khedkar.
Trainee IAS officer Puja Khedkar.(HT_PRINT)

The WhatsApp messages of probationary IAS officer Puja Khedkar, who is embroiled in controversy over demands for a cabin and staff, have gone viral on social media platforms.

Khedkar, who has now been transferred from Pune to the Washim district in Maharashtra, came to the limelight after photos of her private Audi car using a red-blue beacon and a ‘Maharashtra Government’ board went viral.

She is also facing scrutiny for allegedly lying about visual and mental disabilities and her Other Backward Class (OBC) background.

Also Read | ’Privileged demands’ lead to Pune IAS officer Pooja Khedkar’s transfer

In one of the messages exchanged with the Pune collector's office, Khedkar demanded details about her office and a government car.

She was told that things would be discussed with the "collector sir”.

According to an NDTV report, on May 23, Khedkar messaged, "Any update about accommodation, travel, cabin, etc?"

“Kindly respond. It's important,” she messaged the next day after getting no response.

In one of the messages, after getting no response to her calls, she asked, “If there was any problem in calling back?”

"Pls get the designated cabin n vehicle done before I join on 3rd. Later there will be no time. If it is not possible let me know, I will talk to collector sir accordingly…," Khedkar said in another message sent four days later.

On Thursday, July 11, she was transferred to Washim to complete the remaining term of her training.

According to the official letter, the 2023-batch IAS officer will serve there as a "supernumerary assistant collector" till July 30, 2025.

Khedkar secured an All India rank of 821 in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exams.

What RTI activist said

Vijay Kumbhar, a Pune-based RTI activist, raised questions about her appointment alleging that she did not fall under the OBC non-creamy layer.

Kumbhar alleged that Puja's father had assets worth 40 crore.

What Pune collector said in his report

In a report submitted to the General Administration Department, Pune collector Suhas Diwse stated that even before joining duty on June 3, Khedkar repeatedly demanded that she be provided a separate cabin, car, residential quarters and a peon.

— She was told that she was not entitled to these facilities on probation, and accommodation will be provided to her. 

—  It was not appropriate to allow Khedkar to continue her training in Pune, the report said.

— She was also accused of removing the nameplate of a senior official at the Pune collector's office when he allowed her to use his antechamber as her office.

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First Published:11 Jul 2024, 03:46 PM IST
HomeNewstrendsIAS officer Puja Khedkar’s WhatsApp chat goes viral amid controversy over demands for separate cabin and staff

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