Move to topple Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra?

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on May 26, 2020

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray   -  PTI

Tensions run high amidst rumours of President’s Rule in the State

Hectic political developments are taking place in Maharashtra amidst the abuzz that the Centre might impose Presidential Rule, blaming the State for mishandling of the rising number of Covid-19 patients.

Following his meeting with Governor Bhagat Singh Kohyari, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar held a closed-door meeting with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday night. State BJP leaders under the leadership of Devendra Fadnavis have been frequently visiting Koshyari, who was once the BJP veteran in Uttarakhand.

BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Narayan Rane on Monday made an official demand to the Governor to dismiss the State government for alleged mishandling of the Covid-19 crisis. Frequent visits by the BJP leaders to Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the State Governor has worried leaders of the ruling Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine.

Brewing discontent

Relations between Thackeray and the Governor have remained strained after Koshyari refused to accept the Cabinet’s recommendation to nominate Uddhhav to the State Legislative Council. Last week, Thackeray skipped a meeting called by Koshyari at Raj Bhavan to take the stock of the situation on preparedness to handle the Covid-19 pandemic.

The State BJP launched an agitation against the government, claiming that Thackeray has failed to control the spread of Covid-19. Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut in a tweet today said that Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray held a meeting at the latter’s residence, Matoshree, for about 1.5 hours. Raut said that the government was stable. In another tweet, he said: “Vaccine on coronavirus and dose to topple Thackeray government by the opposition is yet to come. Research is on. Opposition should immediately go into quarantine. Efforts to destabilize Maharashtra will boomerang”.

In the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, the BJP is the single-largest party with 105 MLAs. The Shiv Sena has 56 MLAs, the NCP 54 and the Congress 44. The Shiv Sena and the BJP fought the October 2019 elections together and got the majority as an alliance to form the government. However, the alliance separated after the BJP refused to accept the Shiv Sena’s demand to share the post of Chief Minister for 2.5 years. The Sena then joined the hands with the NCP and the Congress. Thackeray took charge as Chief Minister on November 28.

Published on May 26, 2020

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