Guv's image maligned due to frequent visits by BJP netas: Raut

Mumbai, Apr 26 (PTI) In a veiled attack on the BJP in view of the pending approval of Maharashtra governor to nominate Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray as an MLC, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday said the 'frustrated' opposition party should realise that the Sena-led dispensation would remain in power even after May 27 under Thackeray.

In his weekly column 'Rokhtok' published in the Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana', Raut also stated that political parties in the Centre adopted the policy of weakening the states where their party is not in power in the last 60 years, and that late prime minister Indira Gandhi had dismissed non-Congress governments in nine states.

The NCP and the Congress are the constituents in the Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

Thackeray is not a member of either of the two Houses of the state legislature. He was sworn in as chief minister on November 28 last year, and completes six months in office on May 28.

As per the Constitution, a minister or a chief minister who is not a member of either of the houses has to be elected to either of the Houses within six months of being sworn into the post, failing which the person must resign.

Raut had earlier hinted the Cabinet's recommendation to governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to nominate Thackeray as an MLC earlier this month was not being acted upon at the behest of the BJP.

However, compared to his aggressive stand on the issue, Raut appeared softer on the governor in the Sunday column.

'For the last 60 years, political parties in the Centre have adopted the policy of weakening the states where their party is not in power. Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had dissolved governments in nine states where non-Congress parties were in power,' Raut stated.

Raut said the Constitutional post of governor has been misused for such work.

'The Centre's act of not allowing governments of other political parties to remain in power in other states is a mob-rule mentality working within the framework of Constitution. The BJP has been fighting against such mob-rule mentality for years,' Raut said.

The Rajya Sabha MP said he didn't foresee such a scenario in Maharashtra that could potentially usher in anarchy.

'When I had recalled the shameless act of then governor of Andhra Pradesh Ram Lal (in early 1980s), BJP leaders Narayan Rane and Ashish Shelar linked it with governor Koshyari and in a way insulted their own leader,' Raut said.

'They should know that during those days, the oath was administered to one Bhaskar Rao as chief minister of then Andhra Pradesh when incumbent CM N T Rama Rao was undergoing medical treatment in the US. The governor (Ram Lal) acted at the behest of then Central government,' he said.

Raut recalled that the entire episode had been termed as shameless by then BJP leaders in the country as well as constitution luminaries like Nani Palkhiwala.

Attacking the BJP over gubernatorial appointments, Raut said, '....The list is quite long, from (appointment as governor) of Romesh Bhandari in Uttar Pradesh to recent case ofVajubhai Vala in Karnataka where the governors have murdered the Constitution using their powers'.

Raut said the Opposition party in Maharashtra had lost its 'sense of differentiating between right and wrong'.

'Even amidst COVID crisis, the party thinks of stoking the fire of anarchy in the state,' the Sena leader said.

He said the governor's image was getting maligned because BJP leaders are frequently meeting him at Raj Bhavan, as if he is still a BJP leader.

'A senior minister in the state Cabinet informed me that going by the frequency of opposition leaders meeting the governor, a cottage in the Raj Bhavan should be declared as official residence of LoP (Leader of Opposition),' Raut said in an apparent reference to Devendra Fadnavis, the current LoP in the Legislative Assembly and former CM.

The governor's action of administering oath at the dawn had evoked a controversy last year, but the real threat is getting support for such acts from senior leaders, Raut added.

He was referring to Koshyari administering oath to Fadnavis as the CM for a second term and NCP's Ajit Pawar as the deputy CM in November last year. However, the Ajit Pawar- supported BJP government collapsed within 80 hours after the NCP leader resigned, forcing Fadnavis to follow the suit.

Raut said one should understand that Thackeray enjoys the support of 175 MLAs which will continue in future as well.

'The governor knows that the BJP cannot install its CM in Maharashtra. He is wise. The Thackeray-led government will remain in power notwithstanding efforts to visit Raj Bhavan continuously,' Raut stated.

He said the governor should clear the perception about any link between the opposition party and Raj Bhavan. PTI ND NSK NSK