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Uddhav Thackeray Phones PM About Attempts To Weaken His Position

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who is dependent on the state governor to save his job, spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the phone today and alleged an “attempt to create political instability in the state” in the middle of the coronavirus crisis.

“Political instability in a huge state like Maharashtra when it is facing the COVID-19 crisis is not right and Uddhav Thackeray urged the PM to look into it,” sources said.

Mr Thackeray’s party Shiv Sena has alleged a BJP plan to destabilize him at a time he needs Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s nomination to be a member of the Maharashtra assembly – a requirement for him to remain Chief Minister.

Mr Koshyari is yet to respond to the state government’s recommendation that he nominate Uddhav Thackeray to the state legislative council. On Monday, the state cabinet sent a reminder and yesterday, leaders of the ruling Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress coalition met the Governor. 

Mr Thackeray, who was sworn in as Chief Minister on November 28, did not contest the Maharashtra polls and has six months to become a member of the state legislature. That deadline ends on May 28.

The 59-year-old could not get elected to the legislative council through biennial polls as the elections were postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

The state government delegation, led by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, requested the governor to take a decision at the earliest, said sources.

The state cabinet’s decision is binding for the governor, say sources. The Governor reportedly said he would announce his decision within a week.

Shiv Sena leaders have blamed the crisis on former ally BJP, accusing the ruling party of using state governors to pressure governments of states where it is not in power. The two longtime allies split after the Maharashtra polls over power-sharing and later, the Sena tied up with rivals NCP and Congress to take power.

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