Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seek his intervention in his nomination to the Legislative Council and expressed his unhappiness over the stalling of the process, according to media reports.
On April 9, the Maharashtra Cabinet had decided to recommend to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari that he nominate Thackeray as a member of the Legislative Council through his quota of seats. Thackeray will lose his post if he does not become a member of one of the two Houses of the legislature by May 28. The coronavirus pandemic has forced the Election Commission to defer the polls for nine Legislative Council seats that he would have otherwise contested.
Unidentified officials told The Indian Express that Thackeray called Modi to discuss his nomination and expressed his displeasure over the “politics being played” over the matter.
“He [Thackeray] called the Prime Minister to talk about his nomination,” the official said. “He asked for help saying if it does not happen he would have to resign.” Modi has told Thackeray that he would look into the matter and get more details, the official added.
Meanwhile an unidentified Shiv Sena leader said: “Uddhav [Thackeray] discussed the current political uncertainty in the state with the PM [prime minister]. He expressed unhappiness over the politics being played over his nomination as member of the Legislative Council at a time when the state is fighting the coronavirus outbreak, and is standing with the Centre in the crisis.”
Modi agreed with Thackeray’s views, the party leader added. “We now hope that his nomination will be cleared soon by the Governor.”
Meanwhile, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday said the Bharatiya Janata Party is “not interested” in making a “backdoor entry” into the Maharashtra government, The Indian Express reported. This came a day after a government delegation led by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar met Governor Koshyari to urge him to take a decision on Thackeray’s nomination.
“We are confident that the Governor will take an appropriate decision, conforming to legal and constitutional framework, and accordingly nominate Thackeray to the Council,” Fadnavis said. “I would like to emphasise that BJP would be very happy to see Thackeray being nominated to the Council and continuing as the chief minister. The BJP does not want instability in the state.”
Meanwhile, an unidentified official at the Raj Bhavan told the newspaper that the governor is consulting constitutional and legal experts on Thackeray’s nomination and the “process is still on”.
Council members are elected for a six-year term. Thirty members are elected by MLAs, 22 elected from local authorities’ constituencies and seven each are elected from graduates and teachers constituencies. Apart from this, the governor also nominates 12 members.
The Shiv Sena president was sworn in as the chief minister on November 28 without being a member of either House. The Constitution allows such ministers to be sworn in as long as they get elected to the legislature within six months. The six-month period ends on May 28.