Maharashtra: Once again, cabinet urges Governor to nominate CM to the legislative council

Mumbai: The Maharashtra cabinet, on Monday, for the second time unanimously passed a resolution recommending an early nomination of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in the legislative council from the governor’s quota before May 28. In order to make the case legally full proof, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar chaired today’s meeting, after it was officially cleared by Thackeray, going by all the legal and administrative norms and procedures. The state government will send a fresh letter, on Tuesday, to the Governor recommending Thackeray’s nomination at the earliest.

Earlier, the state cabinet, on April 9, had passed the unanimous resolution for Thackeray’s nomination and, thereafter, the government had sent a letter to the governor for his signature. However, even after three weeks, the governor has not yet cleared the file. The cabinet, therefore, took up the issue today again.

Sources said that the governor has reportedly sought legal view and he was still examining the case. Eyebrows were raised after former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met the govenor twice and is believed to have discussed the issue.

Senior minister told FPJ, “The cabinet reiterated the urgency for Thackeray’s nomination in the legislative council from the Governor quota, as two seats from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are lying vacant and their term is up to June 6. This was necessary as the Election Commission had postponed election to the nine seats of the legislative council in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Thackeray has to, therefore, get elected to the council through nomination. He later can get elected when EC announces a revised schedule.’’ He further informed that the cabinet also brought to the governor’s notice that if Thackeray wasn't nominated, it would destabilise the government.

Another minister said the cabinet took up Thackeray’s nomination for the second time to avoid further legal and Constitutional complications. He recalled that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had objected to a cabinet meeting chaired by Pawar on April 9, which had unanimously recommended Thackeray’s nomination in the council. “BJP had argued that Pawar had chaired the cabinet meeting without any formal approval of CM Thackeray. Therefore, the cabinet decision was illegal. So, this issue has been now addressed and the cabinet hopes that the governor will now soon clear Thackeray’s nomination,’’ he noted.

NCP Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, last week, had said even if the governor’s approval does not come before May 28, Thackeray can take the oath again.

Ordinance on payment of GST returns

The state cabinet also approved to provide relief to the traders and dealers in the payment of GST returns in view of the coronavirus lockdown in the state. The cabinet decided to recommend the governor to promulgate an ordinance giving extension in the payment of GST returns in such an extraordinary situation. The government has decided to invoke section 167 of Maharashtra  GST Act, 2017 to give extension.

Production of milk powder

The state cabinet gave approval to produce milk powder from four crore litre milk, following substantial fall in the milk demand. The sale of milk delivered in tetra pak has fallen by 17 lakh litre because of the fall in demand, especially from hotels, restaurants, and sweet marts during the lockdown. The cabinet decided to provide Rs 127 crore for the conversion of milk into milk powder and  provided the much needed relief to the farmers. The scheme will be implemented by the Maharashtra State Cooperative Milk Federation. The cabinet fixed Rs 25 per kg, including packing and GST, to be paid to milk powder producing units and Rs 15 per kg for butter.

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