Cabinet requests Guv to consider Uddhav for Council

Cabinet requests governor to consider Uddhav Thackeray for Council post

The decision to make a formal request  on Thackeray's nomination to governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari was taken at a Cabinet meeting

Uddhav Thackeray file photo

In what appears to be snowballing into a governor vs government issue in Maharashtra,  the state government once again recommended the name of chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to the governor for the vacant post of the Council.

The decision to make a formal request  on Thackeray's nomination to governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari was taken at a Cabinet meeting presided over by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.

The formal recommendation was made on April 9,  however,  the Raj Bhavan has not yet responded to it.

"The state is fighting COVID-19,  the government and the administration is working round-the-clock. The situation is aggravating day by day. At this stage the (political and Constitutional) uncertainty has to be removed. The honourable governor should take a decision on our recommendation," Pawar said.

Koshyari has kept the proverbial Sword of Damocles hanging over Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for a month now but the Shiv Sena has another month to work out a salvage plan.
The 59-year-old Thackeray is not a member of the Maharashtra legislature.

Thackeray, who is the Shiv Sena President, was sworn in on November 28,  2019, and, as per the Constitutional requirement, has had to get elected as a member of Assembly or Council within six months. This deadline ends on May 28.

It is clear that Thackeray cannot become an MLA or MLC by contesting elections at this stage and the only option is to become an MLC from Governor's quota. Thackeray is a reputed photographer and has published several compilations.

The delay in  making him an MLC has created anxiety in the Shiv Sena and the Maha Vikas Aghadi,  that besides Thackeray's party comprises of Sharad Pawar-led NCP and Congress.  

MVA leaders have accused the BJP of misusing the Governor's houses for political conspiracies. The Shiv Sena's strategy is to get Thackeray into the Upper House through Governor's quota - and once the lockdown is lifted the Council polls - that were due in April -  will be announced.

If the Governor refuses,  the Shiv Sena is ready to move court. The other option is that Thackeray resigns by May 28 and get sworn in again as Chief Minister.

This has to be a smooth 24-hour operation, as BJP will leave no stones unturned to topple the government.

As per Article 164 (4) of the Constitution, a minister,  who is not a member of either Houses, will cease to be a minister, on expiry of six months. However,  there are various interpretation and judgements on the article. 

The MVA does not want to take bay chances of legal wrangles and Constitutional crisis and decided to get Thackeray elected from governor's quota. Precedents and norms say that the Governor goes with the decision of the Cabinet.