Without naming him, the Shiv Sena made a thinly veiled criticism Sunday of Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for his delay in assenting to the state cabinet recommendation to appoint Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray as a member of the Legislative Council.
“Raj bhavan, governor’s house, shouldn’t become center for political conspiracy. Remember, history doesn’t spare those who behave unconstitutionally,” Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut tweeted on Sunday.
Raut’s statement comes in the backdrop of the state cabinet’s decision on April 9 to recommend Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s name to Governor for being nominated as a member of the state Legislative Council from the Governor’s quota.
Thackeray, who did not contest the Assembly elections, needs to enter the Maharashtra legislature by May 27. The decision to make him a member of the Legislative Council on the Governor’s quota was taken due to the deferment of the legislative council polls by the Election Commission (EC) due to the nationwide anti-COVID-19 lockdown.
As per Article 164 (4) of the Indian Constitution, any minister who is not a member of the House needs to get elected to the Legislative Assembly or Council within six months of appointment. Uddhav, who was sworn in on November 28 last year, has to get elected to the state legislature by the deadline in order to prevent a political crisis for the Mahavikas Aghadi government, as the Constitution demands that the Chief Minister would have to step down in such an eventuality and the Cabinet has to resign too.
“I don’t understand why but I suddenly remember a shameless governor called Ramlal. The warning is enough for those who understand it,” said Raut in another tweet. The Saamana editor is generally seen as speaking on behalf of the party’s top leadership.
Raut was referring to Thakur Ram Lal, who served as Governor of Andhra Pradesh in 1983 and had unconstitutionally removed the then Chief Minister NT Rama Rao as Chief Minister. It led to a huge political controversy and then President Giani Zail Singh removed the Governor and NT Rama Rao was reinstated as CM.
Sena sources said that the Governor is unnecessarily creating the deadlock on the issue. “The Governor has to go by the state cabinet’s decision during such emergency situation. It is an important decision for the state in the time of fight against Covid-19. Almost a week has gone after the cabinet’s recommendation. If the Governor can give oath to a BJP leader early morning, then what is the problem in approving Thackeray’s name?” asked a senior Sena leader. “The state cabinet’s recommendation is not for any personal favour to Thackeray. Had the polls been conducted by the EC, Thackeray would have been elected to the Council easily,” added the leader.
A Sena minister said that they are confident that Thackeray’s name would be approved by the Governor. “But, we have examined all other options. One of the option includes of approaching the High Court seeking to direct EC to hold polls. But, the decision will be taken in next two days,” said the minister.
Umesh Kashikar, Raj Bhavan spokesperson, declined to comment on Raut’s remarks.