Former BJP minister warns Maharashtra govt of dismissal, sparks row
The Maharashtra government says the Centre has interfered in a State subject by unilaterally handing over the probe in the Bhima Koregaon violence to the NIA.Updated: Jan 28, 2020 19:45 IST
The row between the Centre and the Uddhav Thackeray led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra over transferring the Bhima Koregaon case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) escalated on Tuesday after a senior BJP leader threatened that the state government could be dismissed over its intransigence.
Senior BJP leader and former finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar’s warning came after the Pune police denied access to documents relating to the case to the NIA saying that they did not get any instructions from the state police chief’s office.
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has said that the state government has not received any communication for the transfer of the case to the NIA.
Mungatiwar warned that said such decisions have the potential to create constitutional crisis.
“If the state government is acting against the Centre’s decision then there could be a constitutional logjam. The governor will have to look into this issue. We all know that during the tenure of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, state governments were dissolved as many as 97 times. When the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government came, the law was amended to ensure that the state governments are not easily dismissed easily. But, even then our existing law says that if states are acting against constitutional provisions then the Centre can interfere,” said Mungatiwar
Earlier, Deshmukh had said: “We have not received any official communication from the Central government. We have learnt the transfer of the Elgar Parishad probe to the NIA from media reports. There is no official communication or letter from any central agency to Maharashtra government or the state police. Until then it is not possible for us to cooperate with the central team,” Deshmukh told Hindustan Times.
He also said that the state government has sought legal opinion in this regard and further course of action will be decided after that.
Congress leader and PWD minister Ashok Chavan described Mungantiwar’s veiled threat as day dreaming by the BJP leaders.
“In first place there was no reason for the Centre to hand over the case to the NIA. They needed to take consent from the state government while handing over the case central agency. It is interference by the Centre in state subject,” he said.
NCP minister Nawab Malik dared the Centre to dissolve the MVA government in the state.