Maharashtra Cabinet recommends Uddhav’s name to Governor for MLC post

CM has to get elected to either House by May 28, but polls have been postponed due to the pandemic

April 09, 2020 02:16 pm | Updated April 10, 2020 12:59 am IST - Mumbai:

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray

The Maharashtra Cabinet on Thursday decided to recommend Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s name as a nominated member of the Legislative Council from the Governor’s quota.

At present, there are two vacancies in the Council from the Governor’s quota after Rahul Narvekar and Ram Wadkute quit the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before the Assembly polls last year.

The term of these two vacant seats is till mid-June. Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik said no council election can be held for other vacant Council seats due to the coronavirus pandemic. “There are two other vacant seats for which the Governor nominates people, and the Cabinet requested that Mr. Thackeray to be nominated for one of them,” he said.

Mr. Thackeray did not attend the Cabinet meeting at Mantralaya where the decision was taken. The meeting was chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. As per norms, a recommendation from the Cabinet is never ignored by the Governor.

Mr. Malik said the Chief Minister had been advised not to attend the meeting since the Cabinet was to recommend his name to the Governor. Article 164(4) of the Constitution says a minister, who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of the legislature, shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a minister.

Mr. Thackeray took oath on November 28 and has time till May 28 to get elected as a member of either the Assembly or Council. However, the Election Commission has cancelled all polls for vacant Council seats for an indefinite period due to the pandemic. Even as the lockdown is to continue till April 14, sources have hinted that it could be extended since the number of COVID-19 patients is increasing across the country.

The tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi government does not want to take any risk at the crucial juncture as Mr. Thackeray ceasing to be a minister would also mean the collapse of the entire Cabinet and political instability in the State.

Nine Council seats from the MLAs’ quota are falling vacant on April 24, and Mr. Thackeray was to be elected to one of them during the biennial elections.

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