Vanity fair

THE WEEK|June 07, 2020

Vanity fair
The power tussle between the governor and the Thackeray government could lead to a fresh political crisis
DNYANESH JATHAR

ON MAY 20, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari called a meeting with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to jointly review the government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Thackeray, however, skipped the meeting and sent Shiv Sena secretary Milind Narvekar instead. Since the ministers, too, gave the meeting a miss, Koshyari was briefed by chief secretary Ajoy Mehta and other bureaucrats.

The absence reflected the widening rift between Koshyari and the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government led by Thackeray. The Aghadi’s three main constituents—the Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress—feel that the governor is showing too keen an interest in affairs of the state, and that Raj Bhavan is trying to trouble the government.

The rift was first seen barely a month after Thackeray took charge last November. Koshyari refused to accept the government’s decision to nominate Aditi Nalavade and Shivajirao Garje of the NCP to fill the governor’s quota of seats in the legislative council, saying the tenure of the seats would be over in six months.

Then, on April 7, the cabinet met in Thackeray’s absence and resolved that he be nominated to the legislative council through the governor’s quota. This provoked a question: How could the cabinet pass a resolution in the chief minister’s absence?

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June 07, 2020