After Uddhav dials Modi on impending political instability in Maharashtra, Governor Koshyari asks EC to hold polls for 9 Legislative Council seats

The move garners significance as Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, who took the oath of the office on 28 November 2019 has to become a member of either of the two houses by 28 May

FP Staff April 30, 2020 20:53:43 IST
After Uddhav dials Modi on impending political instability in Maharashtra, Governor Koshyari asks EC to hold polls for 9 Legislative Council seats

Putting to rest rumours about impending political instability in Maharashtra, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has urged the Election Commission to hold elections for the nine vacant Legislative Council seats, at the earliest.

The move assumes significance as Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, who took the oath of the office on 28 November 2019, has to become a member of either of the two Houses of State Legislature — Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council — by 28 May, to remain in power.

After Uddhav dials Modi on impending political instability in Maharashtra Governor Koshyari asks EC to hold polls for 9 Legislative Council seats

File image of Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. Twitter@maha_governor

While the coronavirus pandemic has practically ruled out elections on any seat, Thackeray's last hope was Legislative Council, but that too depended on the governor's nod as biennial polls to Legislative Council has been postponed due to coronavirus outbreak.

The governor had kept mum on the issue despite two formal proposals from the state cabinet and many informal visits by Uddhav's team in this regard.

Koshyari finally broke his silence hours after Uddhav's trusted lieutenants, Milind Narvekar and Eknath Shinde, met him at the Raj Bhavan and a day after the chief minister reportedly dialed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought his help in mitigating a brewing political instability in the state.

Uddhav's original plan to avoid constitutional crisis was to get elected to the Legislative Council by his MLAs in a 26 March election. However, the polls were postponed in the aftermath of COVID-19 .

The Cabinet then recommended appointing the Shiv Sena chief as a Member of the Legislative Council as a Governor's nominee, but Koshyari has stalled a decision on the nomination. He has now finally asked the poll panel, in a letter, to hold MLC polls at "the earliest"

The Governor stated that the central government has announced many relaxation measures regarding the enforcement of lockdown, elections to the council seats can be held with certain guidelines.

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