Mumbai diary

The reason is Congress minister Aslam Sheikh, and his attempt to break a two-decade-old tradition.

Published: 23rd December 2020 03:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd December 2020 07:45 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

Guv dragging his feet over Aghadi’s MLC nominees
Over a month has passed since the Maha Vikas Aghadi submitted a 12-name list of probable Members of Legislative Council to Bhagat Singh Koshyari for consideration under the Governor’s quota. Neither has Koshyari approved the names nor raised any objections, making the nominees are a restless lot. Sources in the know say that Koshyari is unlikely to take any decision soon. Maha Vikas Aghadi has little option other than waiting for the approval like Vladimir and Estragon’s wait in Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett.

Congress’ Aslam Sheikh gets Uddhav’s goat
Uddhav Thackeray is an angry man. No, it’s not any coalition compulsion that has left him thus this time around. The reason is Congress minister Aslam Sheikh, and his attempt to break a two-decade-old tradition. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been the Shiv Sena’s fiefdom for over two decades now. Absolute power means it controls and allots most of the civic body’s contracts through its standing committee. Sources say the committee receives a chit ahead of its meetings. This chit directs them on which proposals need to be approved, rejected, or put on hold. Sheikh attempted to intervene by threatening the officials and contractors. This did not go down well with Thackeray, who complained to the Congress leadership against Sheikh.

Ajit baits prospective BJP defectors
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had been maintaining a low profile for over a year after his misadventure with the BJP. Return of the prodigal Ajit to the Nationalist Congress Party fold had left many stalwarts cagey. However, like a fresh convert out to prove his loyalty, Ajit has upped the tempo of his opposition to BJP. Besides attempting to poach BJP leaders, he has been assuring them sure shot reelection in the bypolls. He has been telling the prospective defectors that they would be the Maharashtra Vikas Agadhi’s sole candidate against the BJP if they switch camp.

Rapprochement in Pawar family 
Back then when Ajit Pawar had helped Devendra Fadnavis to form the 80-hour government, Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule’s emotional litany was enough to melt any stone cold heart. Now, it seems Ajit and Supriya are cosy again, as is testified by the family photos they share. The political heavyweights are inching closer. The family pictures tend to give a Hum Saath Saath Hain message by being a study in unity. This message has also been endorsed by the emerging NCP leader and MLA Rohit Pawar.

Sudhir Suryawanshi 
Our correspondent in Maharashtra


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