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Time for another tussle between state and guv?

PUBLISHED ON JAN 31, 2020 01:05 AM IST

The tussle between governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and chief minister Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government is likely to continue in the coming days.

The governor has not yet appointed the Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) nominees — Shivajirao Garje and Aditi Nalawade — as members of the state legislative Council, despite a recommendation by the CM more than a month ago. Both the seats fell vacant after NCP leaders — Rahul Narvekar and Ramrao Wadkute — left the party in the run-up to the state Assembly polls. The NCP had declared names candidates for the two seats on December 19, 2019. The tenure of the both the seats will end on June 6, 2020.

Of the 78 seats in the legislative Council, the governor has the power to appoint 12 members from various walks of life such as arts, culture, literature and social service. The governor’s office declined to comment on the matter. Replying to a request filed by RTI activist Anil Galgali, RF D’Souza, under-secretary (administration), governor’s office, said, “The process on the chief minister’s recommendation is yet to be completed.”

This is the second such incident when the governor and Thackeray government may be engaged in a face-off. Earlier, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana had expressed unhappiness over the alleged delay by the governor in clearing portfolio allocation for ministers in the MVA government. It was alleged that Koshyari gave his nod to the list 13 hours after it was sent to him by the chief minister. NCP leaders had even quipped that the governor, who could wake up at night to lift President’s rule to administer oath to a BJP chief minister, did not have the time to approve portfolio allocation.

The governor is expected to accept the recommendations as these were made by the state government. Officials from the state legislature said it could have been held if the seats are not from those reserved under governor’s quota. “If MLCs are to be elected by holding by-election then it could have been held as the tenure of the seats is going to end in less than six months. But here, the MLCs are to be appointed by the governor,” said an official requesting not to be named.

“It is the prerogative of the government to select names and recommend these to the governor. The governor’s office has been clearing these recommendations without any delay. This time, it has not been accepted yet, which is against the tradition followed by the governor’s office,” said NCP spokesperson and minority affairs minister Nawab Malik.

In a letter addressed to the governor and the chief minister, Galgali also requested them not to nominate political persons on seats reserved for personalities from the field of literature, science, arts and others. “Only individuals from respective fields should be considered,” he said.

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