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A B Unhale is the new Maharashtra FDA Commissioner as Darade shunted out
Thursday, 13 February, 2020, 15 : 00 PM [IST]
Ranjana Sharma, Mumbai
The Maharashtra government has appointed AB Unhale as Commissioner of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Maharashtra, replacing IRS officer Dr Pallavi Darade.

Unhale, until now Deputy Secretary of Relief and Rehabilitation department, has been asked to take charge immediately.

It is learnt that Food and Drug Minister Rajendra Shingane took serious note of the allegations of administrative corruption by the erstwhile Devendra Fadnavis government, and hence the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government transferred the current head of FDA Darade and appointed Unhale in her place.

On Wednesday, during a bureaucratic reshuffle, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray shunted out Darade.

A month after her IAS husband Praveen Darade was transferred to Pune in an insignificant post, Dr Darade was replaced too. IAS officer (2004 batch) Unhale, promoted to the rank of secretary, took her place.

Darade is an IRS officer from the 1997 batch and was appointed FDA Commissioner in June 2017. Her husband and IAS officer Praveen Darade, the blue-eyed boy of the then CM Fadnavis, was also his secretary. It was during this period that he managed to wangle key postings for his wife. She was the additional commissioner of income tax in Maharashtra and later appointed tribal development commissioner, a post reserved for IAS officers. After this, she was posted as an additional municipal commissioner in the BMC, which too is a position reserved for IAS officers. Then, in violation of all norms of the Food Safety and Standards Act, she was appointed FDA Commissioner in 2017.

As per FSSAI rules, no person below the rank of ‘commissioner and secretary' to the state government shall be eligible to be appointed as the Commissioner of Food Safety. Yet, Darade, a non-IAS officer, was appointed to this position.
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