Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari has decided to "examine" Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's nomination to the Legislative Council even as the Shiv Sena cautioned him against a bid to topple the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. The Maharashtra Cabinet had sought Thackeray's nomination after the elections to the Council postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. As mandated by the Constitution, Thackeray is required to become a member of the state legislature to continue as CM by May 27.
Maharashtra Cabinet has reportedly cited at least three precedents in the state's history when serving ministers -- Avinash Naik, Datta Meghe and Dayanant Mhasake -- were nominated to the Legislative Council by the then governors. Also, they have cited the example of UP CM Chandra Bhan Gupta who was not a member of the Legislature but nominated by the Governor.
However, the Governor has decided to take the view of his chosen legal experts to take a call on the 10-day old recommendation by the Maharashtra Cabinet to "nominate" Chief Minister Uddhav Thackery to the Legislative Council.
Shiv Sena cautions Governor, cites Madhya Pradesh example
The move has alerted the coalition government and Shiv Sena has cautioned the Governor against a toppling bid amid the coronavirus crisis. Given the recent fate of Congress-led Madhya Pradesh government, which collapsed last month after Jyotiraoaditya Scindia joined the BJP, the Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP have heightened their guard against a similar play.
"The recommendation to the governor is made by the state cabinet, headed by CM Uddhav Thackeray, which represents the mandate of the people. The governor is constitutionally duty-bound to follow the advise of the state government, which has demonstrated its majority on the floor of the House, and not to act as a parallel power centre. There will be political explosion across Maharashtra if any attempt is made to destabilise the state government. The people of Maharashtra are rallying behind the Thackeray government's successful combat of the coronavirus," Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut was quoted as saying by the Economic Times.
"That is why all elections to the Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council have been postponed, warranting CM's nomination to the Legislative Council. Mind you, that is why a one-member Cabinet is carrying on in Madhya Pradesh for almost a month now," he said.
Bombay High Court rejects BJP's plea against Uddhav Thackeray's nomination
Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court has rejected a BJP member's plea seeking to quash Maharashtra Cabinet's decision to recommend CM Thackeray's nomination for Legislative of Council. The Court said that it's interference was not needed at this stage.
"Court's interference at this stage is not at all required since any such interference at this stage would amount to preventing the Governor from taking any independent decision. The reliefs sought in the Writ petition therefore appear to be premature.The Petitioner at this stage is not entitled to any urgent reliefs," the high court observed.