Updated: September 5, 2021 10:26:19 pm
AMID SPECULATION that farmer leader Raju Shetti’s name has been dropped from the list of nominees recommended to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for state legislative council, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has ruled out any such possibility.
“The list that the NCP has submitted includes the name of Raju Shetti. His name has been recommended based on his contribution in the cooperative movement and the farm sector. We have done our job with honesty. If Shetti is annoyed, I do not want to say anything about it,” Sharad Pawar said at a function in Warje area of the city on Saturday evening.
Speculation over Shetti’s name being dropped gained momentum after Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar’s recent statement: “New information has come to the fore that those who have lost the election are not appointed to the upper house of the state legislature. We are verifying this…If there is any issue in it, the chief minister will take the decision on it.”
Shetti had lost the Lok Sabha election in 2019.
The Deputy CM’s statement came after he, along with CM Uddhav Thackeray and state Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, met the Governor on Thursday and urged Koshyari to approve the list of the names recommended.
Reacting to Ajit Pawar’s comment, Shetti had told The Indian Express that his nomination to the legislative council was decided between him and the NCP chief before the Lok Sabha election. “There was no promise made….It was decided between me and NCP chief Sharad Pawar,” said Shetti while expressing anger over the possibility of his name being dropped.
In Jalgaon on Saturday, NCP’s state chief Jayant Patil also said Shetti’s name was not dropped from the list. When contacted on Sunday, Shetti said he was busy with an agitation in Kolhapur and would comment later.
Constitutional expert Ulhas Bapat said there is no law that prevents a person who lost elections from being nominated to the state legislative council. “Under the Constitution, the governor has to nominate members recommended by the state cabinet to the state legislative council. The governor has to act on the advice of the council of ministers,” he said. “The governor has no right to create hurdles or delay the nominations once the state cabinet recommends the names to him. If he delays or seeks to create hurdles, it amounts to Constitutional fraud,” said Bapat while pointing out that former Union minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley was nominated to Rajya Sabha despite losing Lok Sabha election in 2014.
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