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Not me, Govt delayed: Governor on standoff with MVA over 12 Council seats

On the recent reports over his displeasure over the state government’s handling of the Kangana Ranaut episode, Bhagat Singh Koshyari said, “Who said I’m upset? I do not interfere in these things.”

Written by Sandeep A Ashar | Mumbai |
Updated: September 12, 2020 9:07:31 am
maharashtra council seats, maharashtra legislative council, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, uddhav thackeray, maharashtra alliance, maharashtra newsMaharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. (File)

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari said Friday that he was yet to receive any proposal from the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government regarding filling up the 12 vacant Legislative Council seats.

This is the first time that Koshyari has spoken in public over the controversy that is widely believed to have escalated tensions between the Governor’s office and the coalition government in the state.

In a veiled swipe at the government over the issue, Koshyari on Friday said, “Muddai sust, Gawah chust” — an Urdu proverb indicating that it was the government itself that was delaying matters. He was interacting with mediapersons on the sidelines of the launch of a coffee table book on the completion of his first year in office. The book has been compiled by the Governor’s secretariat.

In the 78-member Upper House, the Governor nominates 12 eminent persons with special knowledge or practical experiences in the field of literature, science, arts, cooperatives and social sciences among others. Fresh nominations are required to be made since the tenure of the incumbents on 10 of the 12 seats ended in June, while two others had resigned from the membership after Assembly polls in October last year.

The ruling coalition has been publicly complaining about the delay in the nomination, with Shiv Sena leader and ‘Saamana’ editor Sanjay Raut, in an editorial, comparing the delaying tactics to the “suppression of democracy during the Emergency”. The NCP and the Congress, too, have questioned the delay.

On the recent reports over his displeasure over the state government’s handling of the Kangana Ranaut episode, Koshyari said, “Who said I’m upset? I do not interfere in these things.”

The Governor also tried to quell the impressions that he was at constant loggerheads with the sitting government. “Mera kisise takrav naahin (I’ve no conflict with anyone). All of them are my friends,” said Koshyari. “The government has given some commitments to the people. The government is trying to fulfil these. I normally do not interfere with the government’s functioning. But I’d say one thing that the more people you involve the better it gets.”

On final-year exams in higher education, another flashpoint between the government and his office, Koshyari said, “The Supreme Court had already given its verdict. The minister (Uday Samant) and university officials have held meetings. Both online and offline exam options are being looked at.”

Commenting on the controversial swearing-in of the 80-hour long Devendra Fadnavis-Ajit Pawar government in the darkness of dawn, Koshyari said it took place in “Ram Prahar” or early morning hours. “If someone was sworn in early in the morning, why should it be criticised?” he asked

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