Uddhav Thackeray should have contested election, why pressurise Governor to nominate him as MLC: BJP

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Updated: Apr 22, 2020 5:07 PM

Uddhav Thackeray, who is not a member of either house of Maharashtra legislature, took oath as chief minister on November 28, 2019.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. (PTI Photo)

The BJP is not against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s nomination as an MLC, but he should have contested an election earlier to become a member of the Legislative Council, state unit party president Chandrakant Patil said on Wednesday. Patil also said that it did not look good to “pressurise” the state governor amidst such (coronavirus) crisis to appoint Thackeray as an MLC.

His comments came against the backdrop of the state cabinet’s recommendation to governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to nominate Thackeray, who is not a member of the state legislature, to the Upper House from the Governor’s quota. Koshyari has not yet taken a call on the recommendation yet.

“We are not against Thackeray getting nominated to the Upper House of the Maharashtra legislature through Governor’s quota,” Patil said.

“In fact, Thackeray has enough time till May 27 when the six-month period (to become a member of the state legislature) ends. He can wait till then,” Patil said.

In an apparent reference to the state Cabinet’s recommendation to the governor earlier this month, the BJP leader said it did not look good to pressurise the governor amidst such (coronavirus) crisis to nominate Thackeray as an MLC.

The state BJP chief also wondered why Thackeray did not contest an election in the past to become a member of the Legislative Council. He blamed the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government of the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress for politicising the entire issue.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had on Monday sought to know who was stopping Koshyari from approving the state cabinet’s recommendation. He had also said that Koshyari’s affiliation with the BJP is not a secret, but this is not the time to indulge in politics.

Thackeray, who is not a member of either house of Maharashtra legislature, took oath as chief minister on November 28, 2019. Under the Constitution, he has to become member of the legislature by May 28, 2020. However, all elections were postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic, so the state cabinet on April 9 recommended that he be nominated to the Council from the governor’s quota.

Under Article 171 of the Constitution, the governor can nominate members having special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art, cooperative movement and social service.

There are currently two vacancies among members from governor’s quota due to resignations of NCP legislators who joined the BJP before the assembly polls.

The Bombay High Court had on Monday refused interim relief on a BJP worker’s plea opposing the state cabinet’s recommendation that Thackeray be appointed as governor’s nominee.

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