Barely three days after veteran BJP leader C Vidyasagar Rao took over as the Maharashtra Governor, the first sign of discord between him and the Prithviraj Chavan-led government have surfaced.
The Maharashtra cabinet on Wednesday strongly objected to Rao’s move to refer back a proposal for the appointment of former state chief secretary J S Saharia as the state’s election commissioner. Sources told The Indian Express that Rao returned the file enquiring whether the proposal had the consent of the council of ministers despite the Chief Minister stating in his proposal that the cabinet was agreeable to the recommendation.
The government on Wednesday got the consent of the council of ministers on the proposal and sent it back to Raj Bhawan. Senior ministers of the Chavan government reacted sharply to Rao’s move saying he had deviated from the normal practice by raising “technical queries” on Chief Minister’s proposal.
“The Chief Minister is the head of the council of ministers. Traditionally, recommendations made by him for appointments to such posts are accepted by the Governor without any queries,” a senior minister said.
Home Minister R R Patil, sources said, strongly objected to Rao’s move at the cabinet meeting, where Chavan admitted that he was taken aback to see Rao referring back the proposal. Patil also objected to Rao calling a review meeting of police commissioners and Director General of Police, terming its as the Governor’s “interference in the matters of state administration.”
Rao, 73, a prominent lea-der from Telangana, was sworn in as Maharashtra’s Governor on August 29, days after K Sankaranarayanan, a Congressman who was the Governor for four years, resigned following his transfer to Mizoram by the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.