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Maharashtra: While the state faces over 22,000 coronavirus cases, Uddhav Thackeray takes family, party leaders for filing MLC nomination

The Shiv Sena supremo was reportedly accompanied by his son Aaditya Thackeray, wife Rashmi Thackeray, younger son Tejas Thackeray, along with Shiv Sena workers and senior leaders of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government

Amidst the coronavirus outbreak that is galloping in Maharashtra, the chief minister of the state, Uddhav Thackeray, who was facing a constitutional crisis that threatened to unseat him, filed his nominations for the Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) elections, scheduled to be held on May 21.

However, as the pandemic spiralling out of control in Maharashtra, CM Uddhav Thackeray has faced some criticism on social media for taking his entire family to file his nominations for the legislative council elections. The Shiv Sena supremo was reportedly accompanied by his son Aaditya Thackeray, wife Rashmi Thackeray, younger son Tejas Thackeray, along with Shiv Sena workers and senior leaders of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, in brazen violation of the lockdown and no regard for the strict social distancing guidelines mandated by his own government.

The coronavirus outbreak in Maharashtra has reached dangerous levels, with many parts now under the threat of community spread of the virus, said a public health official. Maharashtra continues to top the list of states worst-affected by the menace of coronavirus. It has so far reported over 22,000 coronavirus cases with a staggering 832 fatalities. The capital of Maharashtra, Mumbai, alone has reported more than 12,000 Covid-19 cases. Besides Mumbai, Thane and Pune are other cities in Maharashtra affected by the pandemic.

Thackeray files nominations after Congress recalls its candidate

Even as Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray was staring at an impending constitutional crisis which may have culminated into him resigning from the post of CM, the Shiv Sena party sent an ultimatum to the Congress party for course-correcting its decision of contesting from two seats in the MLC elections. Uddhav Thackeray reportedly threatened Congress that he will not submit his nomination for the MLC elections if the Congress party did not withdraw one of its candidate from the MLC polls.

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The Congress party caved into the demand put forth by Shiv Sena and after a meeting between the alliance partners of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat declared that his party has decided to withdraw its candidate.

“We have decided to withdraw because as the state is facing the coronavirus crisis and based on the chief minister’s request of withdrawing the candidature so that the elections can happen unopposed. Bearing in mind his request and the fact that he is contesting the polls, we had decided to withdraw,” Thorat said.

Constitutional crisis facing CM Uddhav Thackeray

The chief minister of the state, Uddhav Thackeray, was appointed to the position of state’s chief minister on November 27, 2019. Since he was not a member of either house of the state legislature, it was imperative for him to become a member within 6 months, i.e May 27, 2019. 

After the Election Commission cancelled the MLC elections initially, a delegation of MVA leaders had scrambled to the state governor, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, to avert the constitutional crisis and consider nominating CM Uddhav Thackeray to the council. However, Koshiyari had then remained non-committal in assuring the ministers of Thackeray’s nomination to the council. 

With governor’s decision to nominate him to the council remained uncertain, Thackeray approached the Prime Minister of the Country, Narendra Modi, pleading him to intervene to end the imbroglio.

However, in a relief to the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, the Election Commission heeded to Governor Koshyari’s request and agreed to hold elections for the Legislative Council in Maharashtra.

In his letter, the Governor had pointed out that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who is not a member of either house of the State Legislature, needs to get elected to the Council before May 27, 2020. The Maharashtra governor’s letter to Election Commission came a day after Thackeray had spoken to PM Modi and had pleaded him to intervene to end the political crisis in the state.

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