Ajit Pawar hopes State govt. will not have to approach court; BJP defends Governor

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Wednesday took a veiled jibe at Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari over the latter’s delay in announcing the names of the 12 nominees to the Legislative Council from the Governor’s quota, wryly remarking that he hoped the government would not have to go to court on this account.

“The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government had prepared a list of 12 nominees in adherence to the Constitution. The list has been sent to the Governor. But Mr. Koshyari has not yet made a decision even after two months. He is expected to announce the names soon. So, I don’t think he will let us go to court on this,” Mr. Pawar said in Nashik.

While the term of legislators (from the Governor’s quota) in the Upper House of the State legislature had already expired in June last year, the three MVA partners — Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress — had deferred sending its list of nominees until November in a bid to avoid friction with the Governor owing to the raging COVID-19 situation.

The Congress cautioned Mr. Koshyari to not overstep the Constitution.

“The State Cabinet has cleared the names of 12 individuals and sent the list to Mr. Koshyari. If he has any problem with those names then he can point out those issues or send the proposal back. But he is doing neither of them and not taking any decision,” Mumbai Congress president Bhai Jagtap said.

Mr. Jagtap said that even though the pandemic had reduced the work load for Mr. Koshyari, he must not have found time to clear the file in between his meetings with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and actors such as Kangana Ranaut. “He was visiting Goa and may have had other appointments. But he should not overstep the Constitution and do what the Constitution tells him to do,” he said.

The BJP on the other hand came out in support of Mr. Koshyari. “We are confident that the Governor will take the right decision,” former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said.

Mr. Fadnavis further said that instead of telling Mr. Koshyari what to do, the ministers in the State government should behave while speaking about the constitutional head of Maharashtra. “First, mind your language while speaking about him and only then make demands,” the BJP leader said.

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