Mumbai, Jun 30 (IANS): In what could trigger fresh political tension, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Wednesday shot off a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, asking him to take decisions on certain issues raised by the Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis.
The Governor has referred to a delegation of the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Fadnavis which met him in Raj Bhavan on June 23 and submitted two memorandums to him.
The main points raised by Fadnavis were: extending the duration of the upcoming Monsoon Session of the Maharashtra Legislature, take steps to fill up the vacant post of Assembly Speaker, and postponing the local bodies elections due to the pending OBC reservations matter.
The Governor said that since the three issues are of great importance, the CM should initiate suitable action and apprise him of the same.
However top leaders of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi allies -- Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress -- reacted sharply to the Governor's letter.
While Congress Minister Balasaheb Thorat said that the issue of the Speaker's election is already under consideration with the election likely on July 6, NCP's Minister Nawab Malik countered by asking why Koshyari has still not cleared the list of 12 MLCs from the Governor's quota.
In a strong attack, senior Sena leader Kishore Tiwari, who is accorded MoS status, sought to know whether Koshyari is "Governor of Maharashtra or Fadnavis and state BJP?"
Alleging that the Governor was interfering and arm-twisting the duly elected MVA government, Tiwari said instead of raising the state's burning issues, "why so much interest in raising issues of the state Opposition."
He demanded that the President and Prime Minister should recall the Governor "to save the federal democratic setup of the Indian Constitution" since he is "acting beyond his Constitutional dues."
After senior Congress leader Nana Patole was appointed the state party President, he quit his post as Speaker in February and since then, NCP's Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal is holding charge.
Prior to the Budget Session the Governor had asked the MVA government to hold the Speaker's post election, but it could not be done.
Last week, the state government decided to hold a two-day Monsoon Session on July 5-6 in view of the Covid-19 scenario and the anticipated 'third wave' against which the Opposition had protested.
Malik said that the final decision on the Speaker's election would be taken after the Covid-19 test reports of all legislators are received.
On the Speaker's election, the MVA expects it to be a smooth affair since it has a majority in the House.