In a big relief to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday decided to hold elections for the Legislative Council in Maharashtra, which will pave way for CM Uddhav Thackeray to become a member of the Legislative Council (MLC), reports ANI.
On Thursday, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had requested the Election Commission of India to declare elections for the 9 vacant seats of the Maharashtra Legislative Council ‘at the earliest’.
Governor’s letter to Election Commission about Uddhav Thackeray needing to be an MLC before 27th May
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 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.
In his letter, the governor has stated that the central government has announced many relaxation measures regarding the enforcement of lockdown in the country. As such, the elections to the council seats can be held with certain guidelines, he said.
Press Release pic.twitter.com/OaEMcXnKny— Governor of Maharashtra (@maha_governor) April 30, 2020
The Election Commission will likely hold polls to nine MLC seats of Maharashtra this month. Earlier, Election Commission had withheld the election process for these 9 seats in view of the coronavirus situation in the country.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora, who is currently stranded in the United States due to lockdown, held a meeting via video conferencing. Arora had visited the US early March and was supposed to come back in the first week of April but could not as India banned international and domestic flights from March 25 onwards in the wake of coronavirus epidemic.
BJP doesn’t want instability in Maharashtra: Devendra Fadanvis on MLC elections and Uddhav Thackeray
Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly Devendra Fadnavis on Friday had said that BJP was not interested in making a “backdoor entry” into state politics and it will be very happy to see Uddhav Thackeray being nominated to the Council and continuing as chief minister as the party does not want instability in the state.
Fadanvis had also welcomed the elections to Maharashtra legislative council, stating that the polls will prevent Maharashtra from going into instability in the testing times of coronavirus.
This will prevent Maharashtra from going into instability in the testing times of #CoronaOutbreak &will also uphold the values of our Constitution.— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) April 30, 2020
It will also uphold the convention that a (MLC)member nominated by Hon Governor shouldn’t join the Cabinet(i.e become a CM/Minister)
The former Chief Minister also stated that Uddhav Thackeray contesting elections instead of getting nominated to the council will also uphold the values of the constitution. Fadanvis said that Uddhav Thackeray’s decision to contest elections will only uphold the convention that an MLC member nominated by the governor should not join the cabinet.
Maha Vikas Aghadi delegation met Governor Koshiyari
A delegation of MVA leaders led by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar had met the governor on Tuesday and handed over the cabinet decision’s copy to him. According to one senior cabinet minister privy to the discussion with the state governor, Koshiyari has been non-committal in assuring the ministers of Thackeray’s nomination to the council.
Thackeray, who is not a member of either house of the state legislature, was sworn in as chief minister on November 28, 2019. He has to become a member of either of the house of the state legislature by May 28 when he completes six months in office. He will cease to the chief minister if he fails to be a member.