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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Guv pulls up CM over affidavit; govt promises revision

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, March 16, 2013
First Published: 02:13 IST(16/3/2013) | Last Updated: 02:14 IST(16/3/2013)

Governor N Sankara-Narayanan summoned chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and advocate general Darius Khambata on Friday to express strong displeasure over the recent affidavit filed before the high court which states the government is not bound by the governor’s directives on equitable distribution of public funds, meant to bring backward areas on a par with others. 

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Sources close to Raj Bhavan said the governor told Chavan that he had no personal interest in the matter, but felt responsible because of the position he holds.

“People will come here [in Raj Bhavan] and go. I too am not a permanent fixture here. But the government must follow constitutional obligations,” he told Chavan.

Meanwhile, after deliberating for over 90 minutes, the state government agreed to revise its affidavit submitted to the high court. Chavan later assured both the houses that the government would not infringe on the governor’s rights in this regard.

Members from the treasury as well as the opposition benches had created an uproar in the state assembly for two days over the affidavit filed recently by Khambata in a case related to water allotment to a power project in Amravati.

The state assembly was adjourned for the day on Thursday after MLAs from both benches rocked the house. To resolve the deadlock, chairman of the state legislature Shivajirao Deshmukh convened a high- powered meeting on Friday morning, which was attended by Chavan, deputy CM Ajit Pawar, the opposition leaders of both houses, group leaders of parties and Khambata.

The government claimed the statement referred to by the opposition was a draft, and the one submitted to the court clearly states that it has no intention of overriding the governor’s powers.

The Opposition, however, insisted that the government was trying to divert the allocation meant for backward Vidarbha and Marathwada regions.

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