Thackeray scraps appointments of Arvind Sawant, Ravindra Waikar
To avoid any trouble over office of profit violation, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray scrapped the appointments of Shiv Sena Member of Parliament (MP) Arvind Sawant and former minister Ravindra Waikar to the posts of the Maharashtra State Parliamentary Coordination Committee (MSPCC) chairman and chief coordinator in the chief minister’s office (CMO), respectively.
The orders, issued by the state general administration (GAD), which is headed by the chief minister, on February 20, stated both the leaders expressed unwillingness to take up the responsibility. “Considering the inability to accept the position, the state is cancelling the order for appointment of Ravindra Waikar as chief coordinator in the CMO,” stated one of the GRs.
The Constitution bars any elected representative from holding an additional office that gives him or her monetary gains and other perks. Both Sawant and Waikar were elevated to the post of cabinet ministers. While Sawant, as per the appointment order on February 14, was offered office space, official vehicle and staff, Waikar was granted only office space, which also led to rumours about their resignations. Waikar is a Shiv Sena MLA.
Sawant resigned from the position of Union minister of heavy industries from the Narendra Modi government in November last year, after a conflict between the Shiv Sena and BJP over sharing the chief minister’s position in Maharashtra after the state Assembly elections. His appointment was seen as rehabilitation of the two-term MP from Mumbai South parliamentary constituency who defeated Congress bigwig Milind Deora.
Waikar, a three-term MLA from Jogeshwari East Assembly constituency, is considered a loyalist of the Thackeray family. Despite that, he could not get a ministerial berth in the MVA government. His appointment as the chief coordinator in the CMO was also seen as his political rehabilitation.