The Election Commission of India has decided to postpone elections for nine seats of the Maharashtra Legislative Council indefinitely due to the coronavirus crisis. It was believed that Uddhav Thackeray would contest from one of these nine seats, but the Election Commission order has now created a problem for the chief minister.
On 28 November 2019, Uddhav Thackeray had assumed the post of CM of Maharashtra, on the condition that he would have to be elected to the state legislature within the next six months. Thus, Thackeray must be elected before 28 May.
The term of the nine Legislative Council members is ending on 24 April.
What Are the Options Now?
The Quint consulted former Principal Secretary of Maharashtra Legislature Secretariat Anant Kalse on the current situation and tried to understand the options left with the CM at this time. According to Kalse, there are two possible ways ahead.
The first option is for a governor-appointed Legislative Council member to resign, whose place can go to Thackeray, who can later win an election and become a member of the legislature. The second option is for Thackeray to resign from his post and again take the oath of CM post, which will give him another six months to be elected to the legislature.
It will be interesting to see which legislator resigns to save Uddhav Thackeray's Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition government. It will also be interesting if this does not happen, due to which Thackeray will have to resign from his post, which by default means the entire Cabinet resigns.
At a time when the coronavirus crisis is in its peak in Maharashtra, and there is Section 144 of the CrPC imposed in the state, it will be interesting to see what Thackeray does to save his office and power.
Uddhav Thackeray is the eighth chief minister of the state to become the CM without being a member of the legislature, after others like AR Antulay, Vasantdada Patil, Shivajirao Nilangekar Patil, Sushilkumar Shinde, Prithviraj Chavan, and Sharad Pawar.
(The story was first published by QuintHindi.)
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