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Saturday,13-August-2022

Maharashtra

Bowing out? CM Uddhav Thackeray makes farewell calls

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 Ahead of his possible resignation, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray started making ‘final calls’ after his emotional challenge to the rebels previous evening that he was ready to quit the post (CM) as well as Shiv Sena chief, here on Thursday.

Simultaneously, alliance partner Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) state President and Minister Jayant Patil ruled out the possibility of the CM’s demitting office and expressed optimism that the political crisis would be defused.

On Wednesday evening, Thackeray addressed the state via social media and expressed his readiness to step down from both crucial posts provided the rebels led by Minister Eknath Shinde come to meet him and say they don’t want him to continue.

However, Shinde promptly spurned the CM’s offer, reiterating his pre-condition that the Shiv Sena must first walk out of its Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance government with the NCP and Congress.

Hours after that, late on Wednesday, Thackeray and family packed up their bags and left the CM’s official residence ‘Varsha’ at Malabar Hill and returned to the family home, ‘Matoshri’ in Bandra.

Prior to that, he also held meetings with NCP President Sharad Pawar and NCP state chief Patil, Congress leaders including state President Nana Patole and central leader Kamal Nath, besides other senior Sena leadership.

Thackeray is scheduled to address an online meeting of all top Mantralaya bureaucrats this day ostensibly to express his gratitude for their cooperation and contributions during the 30-month tenure of the MVA regime.

The political suspense continued with Sena MP Sanjay Raut claiming in Mumbai that “around 20 MLAs” from the rebel group were in contact with the party leaders, besides the 15-odd currently in Mumbai.

“About 20 MLAs are in touch with us… When they come to Mumbai, you will get to know. We will reveal soon under what circumstances and pressures these (rebel) MLAs left us,” declared Raut.

NCP’s Patil expressed hope that the rebels would return to the Sena fold and ensure the continuation of the MVA government for which Thackeray is making all efforts and the other allies are fully helping out.

Maharashtra

BJP appoints new bosses for Maharashtra, Mumbai

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 The Bharatiya Janata Party has appointed former ministers Chandrashekhar Bawankule and Ashish Shelar as the chief of the part’s Maharashtra and Mumbai units, respectively, according to an announcement.

Bawankule and Shelar, both sitting legislators, replace Chandrakant Patil and Mangal Prabhat Lodha, who have been appointed as ministers in the government of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, earlier this week.

As per a statement by BJP President J. P. Nadda, both appointments are made with immediate effect, and come ahead of the imminent elections to various civic bodies in the state.

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Maharashtra

CM Eknath Shinde snubs Thackeray again, drops Shiv Sena from BAC meet

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In a fresh snub to ex-CM Uddhav Thackeray, his Shiv Sena faction in the Maharashtra Assembly was dropped from the crucial Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meet to prepare for the upcoming Monsoon Session of the Legislature.

Thackeray faction leader and chief whip Ajay Chaudhari had written to Speaker Rahul Narvekar seeking representation to the BAC, but it was rejected.

However, now two ministers from the faction headed by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde have been included in the BAC — Dada Bhuse and Uday Samant.

The BAC presided over by Shinde and attended by group leaders of all parties on Thursday decided to extend the Monsoon Session by two days and now it will be held from August 17-25.

This was because the legislature will not function on August 19 (Dahi Handi celebrations) and the weekend, and the two additional days would enable discussions and decisions on various issues.

The BAC comprises Assembly members like Shinde, BJP’s Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar, NCP’s Jayant Patil, BJP’s Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, Sudhir Mungantiwar and Chandrakant Patil, and Congress’ Balasaheb Thorat and Ashok Chavan.

Besides, there are other invitees like Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal (NCP), Ashish Shelar (BJP), Chhagan Bhujbal (NCP) and Amin Patel (Congress) in the BAC.

From the Council, besides Deputy Chairperson Neelam Gorhe, the BAC has newly-appointed Leader of Opposition Ambadas Danve and Anil Parab, both from Shiv Sena, Pravin Darekar and Vijay Girdhar (BJP), Shashikant Shinde (NCP) and Bhai Jagtap (Congress).

The invitees from the upper house included Chandrashekhar Bawankule and Ranjitsinh Mohite-Patil (BJP), Jayant Patil (PWP), Kapil Patil (Lok Bharati) and Vikas Potnis (Shiv Sena).

After the government headed by Shinde and Fadnavis was sworn-in on June 30, the monsoon session was originally scheduled to start on July 17, but was postponed for various reasons.

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Maharashtra

Skeletons peep out of Maharashtra CM’s ‘mini-cabinet’, 75% ministers face criminal cases

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Maha-Govermetn

 The 18-member ‘mini-cabinet’ expansion of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Bharatiya Janata Party’s Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis have thrown up many facts, including 75 per cent of the total 20 ‘crorepati’ ministers have criminal cases lodged against them.

According to a study conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a total of 15 ministers have declared criminal cases, including seven from the Shinde Group Shiv Sena and eight from the BJP, in the ‘gents only cabinet’.

Of these, 65 per cent — or 13 ministers — including seven from Shinde Group and six from the BJP have serious criminal cases filed against them.

Of the 20 crorepatis, BJP’s Mangal Prabhat Lodha, a reputed builder, is the richest among the ministers with assets worth Rs 441.65 crore and liabilities of Rs 283.36 crore.

Though a ‘crorepati’, the poorest in the lot is also BJP’s Sandipanrao A. Bhumre with assets of Rs 2.92 crore in his name.

The average assets of the ministers’ whose poll affidavits were analysed by ADR comes to Rs 47 crore — comprising the BJP’s Rs 58 crore and Shinde Group’s Rs 36 crore.

On the academic front, two ministers (or 10 per cent) have declared their educational track record as SSC pass, six (30 per cent) as HSC pass, 11 ministers (55 per cent) are higher qualified with degrees, and only one Dr. Suresh Khade of the BJP holds a doctorate from a university in Sri Lanka.

As far as the age group is concerned, 16 ministers (80 per cent) fall in the upper echelons aged between 51-70, and four (20 per cent) are between 41-50, said the ADR’s Maharashtra Election Watch, coordinated by Ajit Ranade, Sharad Kumar and Satish Khot.

CM Shinde carried out his much-awaited cabinet expansion on Tuesday, inducting 18 ministers, including three allegedly ‘tainted’. No women MLA could find a place in the cabinet and so could not the Independents and smaller parties.

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