New Delhi: With Maharashtra moving towards a constitutional crisis even as it battles the coronavirus pandemic, the state cabinet on Monday decided to unanimously recommend Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to appoint Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray as a Member of Legislative Council (MLC). Also Read - 'Whatever is Possible Will be Done Soon': Uddhav Thackeray's Assurance to Migrants
The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Deputy CM Ajit Pawar. Also Read - Coronavirus in Maharashtra: Police Officers Posted at Uddhav Thackeray's House Test Positive
Earlier, a recommendation to this effect was sent to the Governor on April 9. He, however, is yet to communicate his decision on it.
Uddhav Thackeray, who is unelected and has not contested any election thus far, will cease to be the Chief Minister if he does not become an MLC or a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) by May 28.
This, notably, is because a non-legislator can occupy a position in the council of ministers, including that of the Chief Minister, only for a period of six months; if after this duration, he is still not a member of either House of the state Legislature, he will lose his position.
The Shiv Sena supremo took oath as CM on November 28 last year as the head of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, which, besides the Sena, comprises the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). He will complete six months as CM on May 28.
Elections for nine MLC vacancies were scheduled to take place on March 26 but were postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This left Uddhav with the only option of being nominated by the Governor, who, under the Constitution, nominate certain members to the Legislative Council.
These two seats are currently vacant as the two NCP legislators, who held these seats, joined the BJP before last year’s Assembly polls. Their term is set to expire on June 6.
Currently, Maharashtra has a COVID-19 tally of 8,068, including 342 casualties