A petition was moved before the Bombay High Court on Thursday seeking to direct Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to decide on the state Cabinet’s recommendation on nominating Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray as a member of the Legislative Council within three days.
The Cabinet, in a meeting on April 9, had recommended that Koshyari should nominate Uddhav to the Council through the Governor quota to avoid a constitutional crisis amid the COVID-19 lockdown. On April 27, the Cabinet had reiterated its recommendation to the Governor. Uddhav has to get elected to the House by May 27, else he and his Cabinet would have to resign.
A plea moved by social activist Surinder Arora, through advocate Satish B Talekar, claimed that if the Governor does not act upon the recommendation, Uddhav would cease to be the CM, leading to “administrative uncertainties, destabilisation of the government, social chaos and political disorder in wake of COVID-19 outbreak”.
Maintaining that the Governor is bound by the aide and advice of the Cabinet, Arora alleged that BJP, “as a part of its political game plan”, was trying to make Uddhav step down as CM with the help of Koshyari.
Moreover, the plea claimed that as Uddhav had been a professional photographer, editor and social worker, the decision taken by Cabinet does not suffer from legal infirmities and the nomination is justified as per Article 171 (5) of the Constitution. Article 171 (5) provides that members to be nominated on state legislative council by the Governor shall consist of persons having special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art, cooperative movement and social service.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Election Commission had deferred elections to the nine Legislative Council seats that fell vacant on April 24.
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