‘Happy to join …’: IAS officer Puja Khedka takes up new role in Washim amidst allegations | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Amidst a storm of controversy, IAS officer Puja Khedkar assumed her new role as assistant collector at the Washim District Collectorate in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra on Thursday. Khedkar, 32, declined to address the allegations surrounding her, focusing instead on her duties.
Khedkar has faced accusations of misusing benefits under the physical disabilities category and the OBC quota to secure her IAS position.Recently transferred from Pune due to complaints of bullying and entitled behavior, Khedkar expressed her enthusiasm for her new role.
“I am happy to join duty at the Washim District Collectorate and am looking forward to working here,” she said. Regarding the allegations, she added, “I am not authorized to speak on the issue. Government rules don’t allow me to speak on this,” as quoted by PTI.
In stark contrast to her tenure in Pune, where she was seen in an Audi with a red beacon, Khedkar arrived in Washim in a more modest Bolero provided by the district administration. Pune police, inspecting her Audi for violations, found her bungalow locked and her mother rebuffing reporters.
Khedkar’s transfer followed a request from Pune District Collector Suhas Diwase to the state government, citing administrative complications due to her behavior. Diwase highlighted issues such as her aggressive treatment of junior staff and unauthorized use of the additional collector’s office space.
Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena MP Milind Deora also voiced concerns, urging a comprehensive and impartial investigation. “The allegations against IAS officer Puja Khedkar are a serious reputational hazard to the service. Are you in government to serve or due to a sense of entitlement?” Deora questioned, emphasizing the need for justice and maintaining public trust in the administrative service.

Meanwhile, Washim District Collector Buveneswari S confirmed Khedkar’s appointment for training purposes. “She will be learning with various government departments during her training period,” Buveneswari said.
The allegations against Khedkar have drawn significant attention, with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) seeking a report on the matter.

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