Maharashtra governor and Uddhav Thackeray face off over Saki Naka rape case
Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and the state’s coalition government led by Shiv Sena are engaged in a tussle over the Saki Naka rape and death case with chief minister Uddhav Thackeray telling Koshyari that his support for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) demand to call a special session of state assembly to discuss the incident will be “lethal for democracy”.
Earlier, Koshyari had requested Thackeray to consider BJP’s women lawmakers demand for a special session to discuss the issue of women security. In response, Thackeray said that since violence against women was a national issue, Koshiyari should request Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah to call a four-day special session of the Parliament over the issue.
A week ago, a delegation of BJP women MLAs (members of legislative assembly) met the governor and urged him to direct the state government to convene a two-day special session of the state legislature to discuss violence against women in the backdrop of rape and murder of a woman at Saki Naka in Mumbai. Following this, Koshyari wrote a letter to the chief minister and said that he may consider the demand.
On September 20, Thackeray responded with a strongly-worded four-page letter and referred to the cases of rape and murder of women in BJP-ruled states such as Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir (a Union territory) and said that the issue was not only limited to Saki Naka.
“As the governor you have expressed concern over violence against women in the backdrop of Saki Naka case. We are also concerned about the same. But the matter is not limited only to Saki Naka, in fact it is a nationwide problem and hence the entire women community is looking at you with hope. Thus, I want you to demand from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah to call a four-day special session of the Parliament to discuss it in detail. Saki Naka case can also be discussed during the same session,” stated Thackeray in his letter.
Thackeray also pointed out that Mumbai Police had acted swiftly and arrested the suspects immediately.
Koshyari and the Maharashtra government have been locked in a bitter tussle for quite some time. The governor is yet to clear the 12 names approved by the state cabinet in November last year to be appointed as the members of the legislative council. Every six years, 12 members are nominated to the Upper House of the state legislature by the governor on the recommendation of the state government.