Rifts in Maharashtra bureaucracy
Maharashtra chief secretary Ajoy Mehta’s another three-month extension has raised some eyebrows in the bureaucracy. Earlier, former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had given him a six-month extension. Mehta has started appointing his close aides at crucial posts, allegedly overlooking those officials who were not on the same page with him. Even some ministers raised this issue with the CM and complained that Mehta did not even consult them while taking decisions. But, the irony is CM Uddhav Thackeray relies heavily on the senior bureaucrat.
Race to become MLC for Uddhav
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is yet to be a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly or the Council. According to the Constitution, any leader who is not a member of the Assembly or Council has to become member of the legislature within six months of taking oath of the post. Thackeray had planned to enter the Legislative Council via Governor quota. It was expected that by second-third week of April, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari will issue the notifications for the same. But the plan is jeopardy as various elections, including the Rajya Sabha and the local bodies, are postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic. As the deadline is May 24, political observers are keenly watching out for the next move of Uddhav, who is now facing a dilemma over how to beat the lockdown blues for avoiding the Constitutional crisis.
Constitutional crisis in the making?
The coronavirus pandemic has brought many crises. Maharashtra Governor BS Koshyari had started crossing his constitutional role and gave direct orders to the administration. But rules mandate that the governor has to give order to the state chief secretary or the government of Maharashtra. Nationalist Congress Party boss Sharad Pawar, while talking with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has raised this issue indirectly. Koshiyari is a veteran BJP leader from Uttarakhand. He asked the governor to refrain from going beyond his role. If it continues, Pawar warned, then there will be two power centres and that will cripple the delivery mechanism.
Death threat to Maha Vikas Aghadi minister
Jitendra Awhad, a Maharashtra minister, recently received an open threat on social media. Awhad was warned that he would be killed like anti-superstition activist Narendra Dhabolkar. Awhad is facing trouble ever since he opposed the erstwhile Devendra Fadnavis government’s decisions of giving Maharashtra Bhushan award to Baba Purandhare. Awhad had argued that Purandhare wrote the fictionalised history of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj through the Brahminical prism, portraying Shivaji as an anti-Muslim king. Awhad urged CM Uddhav Thackeray and Home Minister Anil Deshmukh to take actions against trolls maligning his image.
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