Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha News

Haryana: Adampur bypoll, a test for Kuldeep Bishnoi to prove his mettle to BJP
The Indian Express | 3 days ago | |
The Indian Express
3 days ago | |

The much-awaited Adampur bypoll in Haryana, scheduled for November 3, will be more of a litmus test for Congress rebel-turned-BJP leader Kuldeep Bishnoi than the BJP or Congress. A four-time MLA from Adampur and a two-time MP from Bhiwani and Hisar, Bishnoi is hoping to be declared the BJP nominee to re-contest his stronghold.“The wait is finally over. I welcome the Adampur bypoll. Once again, Adampur will fight against the opponents and as always, Adampur will win,” Bishnoi tweeted.The Election Commission of India on Monday announced bypolls in seven constituencies, including Andheri East (Maharashtra), Mokama (Bihar), Gopalganj (Bihar), Adampur (Haryana), Munugode (Telangana), Gola Gokrannath (Uttar Pradesh) and Dhamnagar (Odisha).The notification for the bypolls will be issued on October 7 and the last date for filing nominations will be October 14. The candidates would be allowed to withdraw their nominations till October 17, the polls will be held on November 3 and the counting of votes will be held on November 6.The Adampur bypoll in Haryana’s Hisar district is all set to turn into a high-stakes battle. The Bishnoi family has been representing the seat since 1968. While Bishnoi’s father Bhajan Lal won the seat from 1968 to 2000, Bishnoi won it in 2005, 2009, 2014 and 2019; and his wife Renuka won the 2012 bypoll from Adampur.In 2014, Bishnoi got 56,757 votes (47.1 per cent) contesting as a candidate from his party, Haryana Janhit Congress (Bhajan Lal). In 2019, he contested as a Congress nominee and got 63,693 votes (51.7 per cent).While the Aam Aadmi Party has announced it would contest all 90 Assembly constituencies of Haryana in 2024, it has not yet confirmed if it will also field a candidate in Adampur. The Congress, meanwhile, has been preparing hard to ensure that the ruling BJP-JJP receives a setback and would be eager to teach Bishnoi a lesson for deserting the party.Bishnoi had been sulking because he was not considered for the post of Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee president and the party, instead, picked Congress Legislature Party leader and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda loyalist Udai Bhan for the post. Ever since, Bishnoi had turned into a rebel and started openly criticising Hooda, Bhan as well as the party’s high command. In an interview to The Indian Express, Bishnoi even lashed out at Rahul Gandhi, calling him an “inaccessible leader” who “takes decisions under pressure”.On June 10, Bishnoi got an opportunity to hit back at Congress when he cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha polls, resulting in the defeat of Congress nominee Ajay Maken. Congress had the numbers to send Maken to the Rajya Sabha, but Bishnoi’s cross-voting and a wrong ballot of another Congress MLA sank Maken’s chances. After Congress removed him from all party posts, Bishnoi quit and resigned from his membership of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha on August 3, necessitating a bypoll in Adampur. He joined BJP the next day.Either Bishnoi, his wife Renuka or their son Bhavya might be considered as the BJP nominee for Adampur. Another candidate who could have been considered by BJP in Adampur was Tik-Tok star Sonali Phogat, who had earlier contested from Adampur but was defeated by Bishnoi in the 2019 polls by a margin of over 29,000 votes. Phogat, however, died in Goa in August.Congress, on the other hand, recently claimed that a large number of Bishnoi family supporters have joined it. “Several staunch supporters of the Bishnoi family from Adampur have joined Congress. To name a few, the former head of Bishnoi Mahasabha (Hisar) Pradeep Beniwal, who is the son of Pokharmal Beniwal, and had helped Bhajan Lal’s family strengthen its hold in Adampur has joined Congress. Former Air Marshal Surender Kumar Ghotia and several other supporters of the Bhajan Lal family from Adampur have joined Congress. We shall definitely win this seat,” Bhupinder Singh Hooda said.Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Hooda has been working round-the-clock, meeting party workers in Adampur and ensuring that Congress wins the seat. The party, however, is yet to finalise its candidate.If Congress wins, it would not make much of a difference to BJP but would help Congress project that winds of change have started blowing. If it loses, BJP would gain one seat and get into a more commanding position with its ally, the Dushyant Chautala-led JJP.Currently, the 90-member Haryana Vidhan Sabha has 40 BJP MLAs, 31 MLAs from Congress, 10 from JJP, seven independents and one each from Indian National Lok Dal and Haryana Lokhit Party.Bishnoi, on the other hand, had been actively campaigning across the length and breadth of Adampur constituency. He will be holding several public meetings on October 4, 5 and 6. His wife Renuka and son Bhavya have already been campaigning in Adampur for the last several weeks.

Haryana: Adampur bypoll, a test for Kuldeep Bishnoi to prove his mettle to BJP
Punjab: Denied special sitting and after days of squabble with Governor, Mann finally tables trust motion
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | |
The Indian Express
1 week ago | |

Stating that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs were not available for sale, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann Tuesday moved a confidence motion in the Vidhan Sabha, days after Governor Banwarilal Purohit had withdrawn his assent to hold a day-long special sitting of the House citing that rules don’t allow calling a session for tabling only a trust motion. The voting on the confidence motion will be held on October 3, the concluding day of the session.Mann tabled the confidence motion in the absence of the main Opposition Congress members, who were earlier named and suspended by Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan for protesting in the House, and the two BJP members who had walked out of the Assembly in protest against not being invited to business advisory committee meeting. Only three members of the Shiromani Akali Dal and one of its ally Bahujan Samaj Party were present on the opposition benches.AAP had recently claimed that the BJP, under its “Operation Lotus”, had approached at least 10 of its MLAs with an offer of Rs 25 crore each in a bid to topple the six-month-old government. The Assembly session — third of the 16th Vidhan Sabha — was convened following Governor’s assent on Sunday after days of squabble between the Raj Bhavan and AAP government over it. Governor, who had withdrawn permission to hold a special session on September 22 to bring a confidence motion only, had approved the government’s request to convene the House on Tuesday after it informed him that issues like stubble burning, goods and services tax and power supply will be taken up. It had maintained silence on any plans to bring the confidence motion.As Mann moved the motion accusing BJP of trying to topple his government and the Congress of siding with it, the saffron party held a mock Assembly session in Sector 17 and brought a “no-confidence motion” against the AAP government. The Congress MLAs too held a mock session outside the Vidhan Sabha.Mann described the Congress and BJP as two sides of the same coin. “BJP is using the anti-defection law as a new tool to form governments through back door and the Congress, that has lost its MLAs and CMs to the saffron party, is supporting it,” said Mann.He further said, “Our members are not available for sale in the market. They are people’s representatives. They have been elected after the people rejected these (opposition) members”.Mann said that BJP has toppled the elected governments in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and others by luring the MLAs. However, he said, the BJP failed in its “sinister moves thrice in Delhi and now in Punjab”.He said the BJP will never succeed in Punjab. “Government is doing good work. People are getting zero power bills. Mohalla clinics have started functioning. They (opposition leaders) have even challenged the One MLA One Pension scheme (in high court). They want people’s money. No matter where it comes from,” Mann said.He said there was a quid pro quo between BJP and Congress. “The example is Bharat Jodo Yatra, which is passing through all the states except those going to elections. This is being done to help BJP and keep AAP out. But who can stop the rivers?”The CM said that turncoats were ruling the roost now and former Congress leader Capt Amarinder Singh, who had tacitly towed the line of BJP during his stint as chief minister, has now formally joined the party. Training his guns on former CM Charanjit Singh Channi, he said that for the first time, the CM face of a political party has gone missing after defeat in polls.“Where is Charanjit Channi? Why has he run away? It means he did something wrong?,” said Mann.Mann said he has tabled the trust motion “just to show that people have confidence in us; all 92 (ruling party) MLAs will keep this trust.”.“Punjab is moving towards a change. It is now visible. I do not say I have a magic wand and I will transform in six months. But at least we are trying,” he said, adding that the AAP did not form the government to sit at home and emerge towards the fag end of the term.“Today, BJP is organising a mock session. Amarinder Singh is acting as CM outside a cinema in Chandigarh. They should enter the cinema and act there rather,” he said.Earlier, the Speaker had to adjourn the House thrice due to protest by the Congress members.After the House reassembled following obituary references, the Speaker informed the House about the confidence motion being brought by the CM. He also said the session has been extended till October 3.Speaking om the motion, Cabinet minister Aman Arora accused Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa Bajwa, Congress MLA Sukhpal Khaira and BJP state president and MLA Ashwani Sharma of pressing upon the Governor to cancel the special sessionThe Congress members got up from their benches and started protesting in the well of the house.The also termed the move to table the confidence motion as “illegal”. Bajwa said, “By tabling confidence motion, the government has shown scant regard for the constitutional head. I condemn this on the floor of the House.”To this the Speaker said, “The chair has to decide which motion is to be taken up.”The CM intervened and said, “Those who are teaching us rules should educate themselves that any motion can be tabled in the House with the permission from the chair. They could not protect their own rights in Rajasthan, Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. What is your loss if Operation Lotus fails?”Khaira sought zero hour from the Speaker who told him that ample time will be given to them later. But Khaira along with other Congress MLAs stuck to their demand. As Congress leaders continued to protest, the Speaker named all the party MLAs and ordered that they be marshalled out of the House. He also adjourned the house for 15 minutes. The Congress members, however, continued to raise slogan and did not leave the House despite pleas by watch and ward staff. The Speaker had to adjourn the house for 10 more minutes. After that the Congress members left the Assembly hall.

Punjab: Denied special sitting and after days of squabble with Governor, Mann finally tables trust motion
BJP may play tricks, JD(U) on track to become national party: Lalan on Manipur defections
The Economic Times | 1 month ago | |
The Economic Times
1 month ago | |

A day after most of its MLAs in Manipur joined the BJP, the JD(U) on Saturday lashed out at its former ally whom it accused of using "dhan bal" (money power) to poach legislators from other parties. JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan alleged that the BJP did in Manipur what it had "previously attempted in Delhi, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra". "Our MLAs in Manipur had defeated BJP candidates at the hustings. Ditto in Arunachal Pradesh where our MLAs were poached while we were still in NDA," fumed Lalan. The development comes as an embarrassment for the party which is holding its national executive meeting here and trying to project Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, its de facto leader, for a bigger role. "Whatever tricks the BJP may play, it will not be able to stop JD(U) from becoming a national party by 2023," asserted Lalan, who has been associated with Nitish Kumar for nearly four decades. "The BJP should worry about itself. In 2015 assembly polls, none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed 42 rallies but the party could win only 53 seats in the 243-strong Bihar Vidhan Sabha. They should think of their fate in 2024 when the entire opposition will stand united against them," he said. Referring to Modi's recent allegation that opposition parties were in a huddle to protect the corrupt, the JD(U) chief taunted "what BJP is doing to other parties is 'sadachar' but a joint fight against its brazen use of money power is 'bhrashtachar'. The prime minister has redefined these terms". He also bristled at the remark of BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi that after Arunachal and Manipur it was Bihar's turn to become "JDU-mukt" where the party could be split by its bigger ally RJD of Lalu Prasad. "Let Sushil Modi sell daydreams to his central leadership. It may help him to come out of political wilderness," remarked Lalan. Five JD(U) MLAs joined the ruling BJP in Manipur on Friday. The JD(U) had won six of the 38 constituencies it had contested in the assembly elections held in March.

BJP may play tricks, JD(U) on track to become national party: Lalan on Manipur defections
CM Kejriwal: BJP found nothing in liquor policy, so they’re after schools
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

Following allegations of ‘corruption’ in construction of classrooms levelled by the BJP and L-G VK Saxena against the AAP-led Delhi government, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Monday said they are going after schools as they couldn’t find anything against the liquor policy.Tabling a confidence motion in the Delhi Assembly, he said: “For the last 10-15 days, we have been seeing nautankibaazi (drama)… AAP has eaten money in liquor policy… but they found nothing… Now, they have received an order from above to not speak about the liquor policy anymore… They are now after our schools… asking why did you construct more classrooms and increase the number of toilets…”The session saw BJP MLAs being marshalled out after they demanded a short discussion on the excise policy and school classrooms allegations. Kejriwal said: “This is an important day and we are going to table the confidence motion. But on such a day, the opposition did not want to be involved in a good discussion. They only want to do cheap politics and nautanki (drama)…”On the need for this motion, Kejriwal said: “Through this, we want to show that every single AAP MLA and leader is kattar imandar (honest) and to show that their (BJP’s) ‘Operation Lotus’ may have succeeded in other states but (not) in Delhi.”Leader of opposition Ramvir Singh Bidhuri said, “You have 62 MLAs out of 70 and what is the need for this motion… It is a publicity stunt to hide the truth.”“We wanted to discuss the excise policy and CVC’s report on classrooms, but they don’t want to discuss it… Every time, we raise a matter, they marshal us all out…”AAP targets L-G with graft claimsAAP leaders, during a special assembly session, levelled allegations of “corruption” and “money laundering” against L-G Vinai Kumar Saxena. The L-G’s office did not respond to calls and messages seeking a comment.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxAAP MLAs announced they will hold an “overnight protest” at the Gandhi statue inside the Vidhan Sabha — from 7 pm on Monday until Tuesday morning — to demand a CBI probe against the L-G. Speaking at the session, AAP leader and Rajinder Nagar MLA Durgesh Pathak alleged: “Saxena committed a scam to the tune Rs 1,400 crore in the name of ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ when he was serving as chairman of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).”

CM Kejriwal: BJP found nothing in liquor policy, so they’re after schools
  • CM: BJP found nothing in liquor policy, so they’re after schools
  • The Indian Express

    Following allegations of ‘corruption’ in construction of classrooms levelled by the BJP and L-G VK Saxena against the AAP-led Delhi government, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Monday said they are going after schools as they couldn’t find anything against the liquor policy.Tabling a confidence motion in the Delhi Assembly, he said: “For the last 10-15 days, we have been seeing nautankibaazi (drama)… AAP has eaten money in liquor policy… but they found nothing… Now, they have received an order from above to not speak about the liquor policy anymore… They are now after our schools… asking why did you construct more classrooms and increase the number of toilets…”The session saw BJP MLAs being marshalled out after they demanded a short discussion on the excise policy and school classrooms allegations. Kejriwal said: “This is an important day and we are going to table the confidence motion. But on such a day, the opposition did not want to be involved in a good discussion. They only want to do cheap politics and nautanki (drama)…”On the need for this motion, Kejriwal said: “Through this, we want to show that every single AAP MLA and leader is kattar imandar (honest) and to show that their (BJP’s) ‘Operation Lotus’ may have succeeded in other states but (not) in Delhi.”Leader of opposition Ramvir Singh Bidhuri said, “You have 62 MLAs out of 70 and what is the need for this motion… It is a publicity stunt to hide the truth.”“We wanted to discuss the excise policy and CVC’s report on classrooms, but they don’t want to discuss it… Every time, we raise a matter, they marshal us all out…”AAP targets L-G with graft claimsAAP leaders, during a special assembly session, levelled allegations of “corruption” and “money laundering” against L-G Vinai Kumar Saxena. The L-G’s office did not respond to calls and messages seeking a comment.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxAAP MLAs announced they will hold an “overnight protest” at the Gandhi statue inside the Vidhan Sabha — from 7 pm on Monday until Tuesday morning — to demand a CBI probe against the L-G. Speaking at the session, AAP leader and Rajinder Nagar MLA Durgesh Pathak alleged: “Saxena committed a scam to the tune Rs 1,400 crore in the name of ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ when he was serving as chairman of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).”

In 'Who Is Real Sena' Fight, Supreme Court Breather For Team Thackeray
Ndtv | 2 months ago | |
Ndtv
2 months ago | |

New Delhi: In a big relief to Uddhav Thackeray in the fight over control of the Shiv Sena, the Supreme Court today told the Election Commission not to decide on a plea by Eknath Shinde, the Maharashtra Chief Minister, to recognise his group as the real party. Here are the top 10 updates on this story:The Supreme Court is likely to take a call on Monday on whether the matter needs to be referred to a constitution bench.Claiming that he commands the numbers - and, therefore, the Sena - Mr Shinde had submitted that courts shouldn't interfere with internal party decisions "taken democratically by majority".During the hearing today, Chief Justice NV Ramana asked important questions to Team Shinde, wanting to know "if you are completely ignoring political parties after being elected then is it not a danger to democracy". To this, senior advocate Harish Salve, who represented the Shinde camp, replied: "No".Team Thackeray doesn't want the Election Commission to decide yet. Earlier, Team Thackeray told the Supreme Court that the poll panel can't decide which group represents the Shiv Sena till there is clarity on the disqualification of rebel Sena MLAs - who hopped from Gujarat to Assam to Goa in a political operation last month - and dethroned Mr Thackeray.In their petition, Team Thackeray said the Shinde group is trying to "illegally cobble up numbers and fabricate an artificial majority in the organisation".The Election Commission had sought evidence from both sides by August 8, after which it was to hear the matter.Eknath Shinde has argued that he is the real Sena, "A group of 15 MLAs cannot call a group of 39 as rebels. It is in fact the other way around," he had said, in his response to the court which is hearing a batch of pleas around the matter.So far, Mr Shinde has got hold of the party in the assembly with two-third Sena MLAs backing him. But claiming the party as a whole needs proof of majority within grassroots units too, besides other legal requirements.The faction led by Uddhav Thackeray - unseated as CM in the Shinde-led mutiny, but still party president - has legally challenged a number of decisions by Team Shinde. These include appointment of leaders and 'whips' who can issue binding orders to party MLAs and MPs.The case originally stems from a challenge by Team Thackeray against the Governor's orders for a trust vote. Mr Shinde won that vote as the BJP, the single largest party in the Vidhan Sabha, backed his faction.  Comments

In 'Who Is Real Sena' Fight, Supreme Court Breather For Team Thackeray
BJP appoints Mahendra Bhatt as Uttarakhand unit president
The Indian Express | 2 months ago | |
The Indian Express
2 months ago | |

In a major change to the BJP’s Uttarakhand unit over four months after forming the government in the state, the party on Saturday appointed former MLA Mahendra Bhatt as president of its state unit.The appointment order was issued by BJP national general secretary Arun Singh on Saturday morning. “Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Jagat Prakash Nadda has appointed Mahendra Bhatt as state president of Uttarakhand BJP. The appointment is to take place with immediate effect,” read a letter issued by Singh.Bhatt, a two-time BJP MLA, has replaced Haridwar MLA Madan Kaushik. In the 2022 Assembly elections, Bhatt lost the Badrinath constituency seat. With the politics of Uttarakhand much dependent on the dynamics of the Garhwal and Kumaon region as well as Thakurs and Brahmins, it is speculated that the appointment of Bhatt, a Brahmin leader from Garhwal, is to strike a balance between the politics of caste and region.Of the state’s 13 districts, six fall under the Kumaon region, which has Nainital as its zonal headquarters. Garhwal, with Pauri Garhwal as headquarters, has seven districts and includes the capital Dehradun as well. It has 41 constituencies and is much larger than Kumaon, which has 29. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami is a Thakur from the Kumaon region.Bhatt started his active political career with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in 1991 and from 1998 to 2000 he took charge as Uttaranchal Yuva Morcha state secretary in undivided Uttar Pradesh. After Uttarakhand (then called Uttaranchal) was carved out from Uttar Pradesh, Bhatt was made the general secretary of the Yuva Morcha.In 2002, when the first Assembly election for the new Uttarakhand state was held, Bhatt contested from the Nandprayag constituency and defeated Congress candidate Satendra Bartwal. He was also appointed the Yuva Morcha state president. Besides, he was made in-charge of Yuva Morcha in Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra.After assuming several responsibilities within the party, he contested the Badrinath Vidhan Sabha seat in 2017 and defeated Congress candidate Rajendra Singh Bhandari. In 2022, however, he lost to Bhandari in the same seat by over 2,000 votes. Bhatt has also served 15 days in jail during the Ram Janmabhoomi Andolan and five days during the Uttarakhand Rajya Andolan.

BJP appoints Mahendra Bhatt as Uttarakhand unit president
"Eknath Shinde Backstabbed Me," Says Uddhav Thackeray
Ndtv | 3 months ago | |
Ndtv
3 months ago | |

Eknath Shinde to whom I gave Sena responsibility backstabbed me, said Uddhav Thackeray (FILE)Mumbai: Days after he resigned as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday said Eknath Shinde, who led the rebellion with party MLAs to bring down Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, backstabbed him.Addressing Shiv Sena workers in , Mr Thackeray said that he had given Mr Shinde the responsibility of the party."Shinde to whom I have given the responsibility of the party backstabbed me, while NCP and Congress remained with us. It is painful to see that those (MLAs and ministers) who won due to Sena workers and got everything has left him," Thackeray told media persons here.Earlier in June this year, Eknath Shinde led a group of Sena MLAs against the MVA government, resulting in it losing its majority in the Maharashtra assembly. This also led Shiv Sena chief Thackeray to step down as CM ahead of a floor test.The new Eknath Shinde-led government in Maharashtra won the floor test on Monday by a 164-99 margin, proving his government's majority and cementing his position as Chief Minister of the state and the leader of the Shiv Sena. 164 votes were polled in favour of Shinde, while 99 votes were polled against the newly formed BJP-Shinde camp coalition.The trust vote came a day after BJP's Rahul Narwekar was elected the Assembly Speaker. On Sunday Narwekar reinstated Shinde as the Shiv Sena's legislative party leader and also recognized the appointment of Gogawale as the chief whip of the Shiv Sena.After the Maharashtra government won the trust vote in the state Assembly, Shiv Sena's Eknath Shinde faction on Monday gave a petition to Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar for the suspension of 16 MLAs of the party belonging to Uddhav Thackeray's camp for violation of whip.The Speaker's office confirmed that 16 MLAs will be issued notice for suspension. Mr Gogawale had also issued a whip to the party MLAs to remain present in the Vidhan Sabha for the floor test.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

"Eknath Shinde Backstabbed Me," Says Uddhav Thackeray
"You're In A Minority," Says Governor To Uddhav Thackeray: 10 Points
Ndtv | 3 months ago | |
Ndtv
3 months ago | |

Mumbai: Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, informing him of the trust vote due tomorrow. Mr Thackeray has challenged the decision in Supreme Court, which will hear it at 5 pm. Here are the Top 10 points in this big story:In his letter, Mr Koshyari said he has received letters from the BJP and others saying the government is now a minority. "It is clear that a majority of the Shiv Sena MLAs have given a clear indication that they intend to exit from the Maha Vikas Aghadi Government... and you are trying to win over your MLAs and cadre by means which are not democratic," the Governor wrote."I am therefore confident that you and your Government has lost the trust of the House and the Government is in minority," the letter read.The test of strength will be telecast live and the proceedings will be recorded on camera by the Vidhan Sabha Secretariat through an independent agency, the Governor said. "In order to ensure free and fair voting, it shall be conducted by asking members to rise in their seats for the purpose of counting votes..." Mr Koshyari said.The Governor ordered the test of strength a day after BJP leaders, led by Devendra Fadnavis, met him and contended that the Uddhav Thackeray-led coalition has lost majority.Mr Thackeray approached the Supreme Court earlier today, challenging the Governor's decision and calling it illegal. The 16 rebel MLAs, he contended, are yet to respond on their possible disqualification and the matter is pending in court.The top court will hear his petition shortly.The Team Thackeray had asked the Deputy Speaker to disqualify 16 MLAs including Mr Shinde, after which the rebel camp approached the Supreme Court, calling the move illegal.The court gave the rebel Sena MLAs time until July 12 to respond to the notices sent under the anti-defection law.The Shiv Sena rebels, who have ignored Mr Thackeray's appeals to return, are waiting for the Court's decision to decide on their next move. In case of a trust vote tomorrow, they will move close to Mumbai. The alternate destination is Goa – more than 500 km from Mumbai.Rebel chief Eknath Shinde has claimed he has the support of 40 Shiv Sena MLAs, and another group of Independents. Their exit will lead to immediate collapse of the government led by Mr Thackeray which came to power in 2019. Comments

"You're In A Minority," Says Governor To Uddhav Thackeray: 10 Points
Uddhav Thackeray’s top quotes: ‘A blow by the own is what would hurt the most’
The Indian Express | 3 months ago | |
The Indian Express
3 months ago | |

With the Maha Vikas Aghadi government reeling under a major political crisis, Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray addressed a press conference, saying the Shiv Sena and the Hindutva can never be separated. “I may be the first person to talk about Hindutva in the Vidhan Sabha. Even then, some people are of the opinion that this is not Balsaheb’s Shiv Sena,” he said on Wedesday evening.Here are all what the chief minister said:◾ All the surveys declared me as one of the top five chief ministers in the country during the outbreak of Covid-19.◾ Why did the CM not meet the people – was a question raised by some. I had undergone a surgery, so I could not meet people then. Even then, I conducted the first Cabient meeting from the hospital.◾ The Shiv Sena and the Hindutva can never be separated. I may be the first person to talk about Hindutva in the Vidhan Sabha. Even then, some people are of the opinion that this is not Balsaheb’s Shiv Sena.◾ As many as 63 Shiv Sena candidates were elected as MLAs in 2014. Now, we all know that some party members have gone incommunicado. I met them just last day. What is this democracy?◾ Why do we have to go the extra mile to keep our people together? Should we track them even if they go to the washroom?◾ I am determined to fight till the end. Congress and NCP were in the Opposition for many years before the MVA coalition. Right before we floated the coalition, NCP chief Sharad Pawar came up to me and entrusted with me the responsibility of holding MVA together. I replied with a smile since I had no experience. But, I stepped in and handled the situation well, without giving even a slight chance for anyone to think that giving me the role was a joke.◾ What is happening now? I am saddened and shocked. If the NCP and Congress say they don’t want me, it is acceptable. But here, Kamal Nath and Pawar called me and extended support, while my own people are saying they don’t want me. What can I do? Now I wonder if at all they consider me as their own.◾ I am ready to give up if there is an official statement by the defected persons. I want them to come face-to-face and speak their minds. I will shift from Varsha to Matoshree immediately in that case.◾ A blow by the own is what would hurt the most. I will submit my resignation if they come in front of me and demand the same. This is not the greatest challenge I have faced. We will return and face many more. I am not a person who would run away from such challenges.◾ I don’t mind if they want some other Shiv Sena leader to be the new CM. I will happily step down and continue working for the party. But, make the demands directly. I got this CM post unexpectedly and if my people ask me to, I will give up the position. In a democracy, the person with most number of supporters will be the most powerful. But, for me, I consider all equally. Hence, I consider it a failure even if one person leaves. My only request is to you all is to shower on me the same amount of love that you have always, the next we meet.

Uddhav Thackeray’s top quotes: ‘A blow by the own is what would hurt the most’
"Power Is Fleeting," Says Top Sena Leader Amid Crisis, Then Posts A Tweet
Ndtv | 3 months ago | |
Ndtv
3 months ago | |

Sanjay Raut had earlier downplayed the threat of the impending coup in his party.Mumbai: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut's tweet on "crisis leading to Maharashtra assembly dissolution" today dropped a big hint that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, facing a coup in his party, was ready to dissolve the assembly and give up power rather than compromise.   "The political developments in Maharashtra are heading towards dismissal of Vidhan Sabha," Sanjay Raut tweeted in Marathi.महाराष्ट्रातील राजकीय घडामोडींचा प्रवास विधान सभा बरखास्तीचया दिशेने..— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) June 22, 2022Sources saw this as a message that Uddhav Thackeray would rather lose power than give in to rebel leader Eknath Shinde's demand that the party ditch the alliance, revive its tie-up with the BJP and government Maharashtra jointly.Mr Raut had earlier downplayed the threat of the impending coup in his party, calling its prime planner Eknath Shinde a "close friend". At the same time, he said: "Power is fleeting. Zyaada se zyaada kya hoga, satta jayegi. Satta waapas aayegi (What's the worse that can happen? We'll lose power. Power comes back)."Mr Raut claimed he had spoken "for one hour" this morning with rebel leader Eknath Shinde, who claims to have enough MLAs with him to split the Shiv Sena.Mr Shinde, who flew from Gujarat to Assam - both BJP-ruled states - claims he has the support of 40 MLAs out of the Sena's 55 and six independents. Hosted and escorted by the BJP, the MLAs checked into a Guwahati five-star hotel early this morning, hours after Shiv Sena Chief and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray reached out to Mr Shinde."Eknath Shinde is a close friend. We have worked together for years and it is not easy to end such ties. We are in talks with him. I am in touch with the MLAs is Guwahati," Mr Raut told reporters, insisting that all the rebels would return to Mumbai soon."Eknath Shinde is a true Shiv Sainik. Talk of Shiv Sena splitting is completely baseless."He denied that Mr Shinde had set any terms for the Sena.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"We had a positive chat. There is no bad blood between us. We share many secrets and we have the same bond with Uddhav Thackeray. The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) is with Uddhav-ji and we have also spoken to (NCP ally) Sharad Pawar," Mr Raut said."The party's pride is above all else. The BJP's dreams of toppling the government will never come true," he asserted.

"Power Is Fleeting," Says Top Sena Leader Amid Crisis, Then Posts A Tweet
Court refuses bail to Nawab Malik, Anil Deshmukh to vote in Rajya Sabha polls
The Indian Express | 3 months ago | |
The Indian Express
3 months ago | |

A special court on Thursday rejected the applications filed by NCP leaders Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh seeking permission to visit Vidhan Sabha on Friday to vote in the Rajya Sabha elections.Malik and Deshmukh, who are both MLAs, had sought to be escorted to the Vidhan Sabha at their own expense for a few hours to vote in the elections to six seats from Maharashtra.The two are in judicial custody in connection with two separate cases filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). After hearing extensive arguments put forward by all the parties, the court refused the temporary bail to Malik and Deshmukh. Following this, Deshmukh has approached the Bombay High Court while Malik too is in process of filing his plea in HC.On Tuesday, the central agency had opposed their pleas pointing out that “prisoners do not have voting rights”.“It is pertinent to mention that prisoners do not have voting rights under the Representation of the People Act, 1951. The right to vote is a statutory right created under Section 62 of the Act and the law is settled that the ‘right to vote being a statutory right is subject to the restrictions prescribed in the Act’,” the ED reply stated.Deshmukh is lodged in Arthur Road Jail in connection with the money laundering case filed by the ED alleging that bribes were taken from bar and restaurant owners at his instructions and the money was laundered through a trust controlled by his family. He has been in prison since last November.Malik was arrested in February on allegations of money laundering in connection with a property in Kurla. He is admitted in a private hospital on orders of the court.Maharashtra will witness a contest in the Rajya Sabha polls after more than two decades, as there are seven candidates in fray for the six seats.The ruling Shiv Sena has fielded two candidates, its MVA allies NCP and Congress have pitched one candidate each, while the opposition BJP has nominated three.

Court refuses bail to Nawab Malik, Anil Deshmukh to vote in Rajya Sabha polls
  • On Maharashtra Leaders' Bail Pleas Over Rajya Sabha Polls, Court Order Tomorrow
  • Ndtv

    Anil Deshmukh was arrested in November 2021 by the Enforcement Directorate. (FILE)Mumbai: A special court in Mumbai on Wednesday reserved till Thursday its order on the bail pleas of former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh and state minister Nawab Malik seeking the one-day relief to cast their votes in the June 10 Rajya Sabha elections.The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which had opposed the pleas of Mr Deshmukh and Mr Malik saying prisoners don't have the voting rights under the Representation of the People (RP) Act, said a person confined in prison cannot vote in any elections, "whether he is under sentence or an undertrial that doesn't make a difference".Mr Deshmukh's lawyer argued that let the legislature decide on the floor (about his vote) and hat he can go under escort.Mr Malik's advocate also told the court that the validity of the vote can be decided by the returning officer.Mr Deshmukh and Mr Malik, both senior NCP leaders, are currently lodged in jail in connection with different money laundering cases.The duo had last week filed applications seeking temporary bail before special judge R N Rokde.On Wednesday, all the sides completed their arguments for and against the bail.Arguing for Mr Deshmukh, advocate Abad Ponda submitted, "Do I not have the right to vote? I see no politics in the reply (referring to the ED's response). I see legal objection."He further said there is a difference between a convict, who is confined, and an undertrial who comes out for remand, and court proceedings. Confinement starts after conviction. On the ED argument that prisoners don't have the voting rights under the Representation of the People (RP) Act, Mr Ponda said, "let the legislature decide on the floor but let me (Deshmukh) go there".He can go under escort to the particular place (to the voting spot) and the rest can be done by others (concerned department), Ponda said.Advocate Amit Desai, appearing for Nawab Malik, submitted," I have not come here to enforce my rights, but my duty....I'm in honour custody and your honour may do as he pleases." Mr Desai contended that his client has come to the court "transparently and wishes to discharge his duty towards his constituency".He too said that the validity of the vote can be decided by the returning officer."If I'm not allowed...my ability to cast a vote fails, then I'm prejudiced, my party is prejudiced ," Mr Desai said.The lawyer also told the court that Mr Malik is still a minister (in the state government)."Since I have not resigned, it means there is a good belief in my government about my innocence," the lawyer said.Opposing the applications of Mr Deshmukh and Mr Malik, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, said that as per the provisions, a person confined in prison cannot vote in any elections, whether he is under sentence or an undertrial that doesn't make a difference. The Right to Vote is a statutory right. It is the Constitutional right shaped by the Act (the RP Act), he said."We have to interpret the section as it is in the plain and simple language. If it says you cannot vote, you cannot vote. Whether it's discriminatory is a different issue and its validity can be challenged," Singh said. "When you are in prison it's because of your conduct.. you cannot claim all these rights," the ASG added.Mr Deshmukh was arrested in November 2021 by the Enforcement Directorate."Being a standing MLA, the applicant (Deshmukh) is a member of the Electoral College for the election of members to the Rajya Sabha. The applicant is desirous to exercise his franchise and cast his vote," Mr Deshmukh's bail application had said.The Enforcement Directorate had told the special court that Mr Deshmukh is the main accused in the money laundering case registered against him and is currently in judicial custody after being arrested in November last year.As per the Enforcement Directorate, Mr Deshmukh had misused his position as state home minister and collected Rs 4.70 crore from various bars in Mumbai through some police officers.Mr Malik was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on February 23 this year in a money laundering case linked to the activities of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his aides.The court's order on Thursday will be keenly watched as every vote is crucial for the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi, of which NCP is a constituent, to get the Sena's second candidate- Sanjay Pawar- elected in the RS polls. After more than two decades, the state will witness a contest in the Rajya Sabha polls as there are seven candidates in the fray for the six seats.The ruling Shiv Sena has fielded two candidates, its MVA allies NCP and Congress have nominated one candidate each, while the opposition BJP has put up three candidates.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe contest lies between BJP's Dhananjay Mahadik and Shiv Sena's Sanjay Pawar.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

  • RS polls: Court to decide on temporary bail pleas of Anil Deshmukh, Nawab Malik on June 9
  • The Economic Times

    A special court here on Wednesday reserved till Thursday its order on the bail pleas of former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh and state minister Nawab Malik seeking the one-day relief to cast their vote in the June 10 Rajya Sabha elections. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had opposed the pleas of Deshmukh and Malik, saying prisoners don't have the voting rights under the Representation of the People (RP) Act. Deshmukh and Malik, both senior NCP leaders, are currently lodged in jail in connection with different money laundering cases. The duo had last week filed applications seeking temporary bail before special judge R N Rokde. On Wednesday, all the sides completed their arguments for and against the bail. The ED had said that the bail applications are liable to be rejected at the very threshold. MORE STORIES FOR YOU✕RS polls: ED opposes pleas of Deshmukh, Malik for one-day bail, says prisoners don't have voting rightsEx-Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh seeks default bail in corruption case, claims CBI charge sheet 'incomplete'MVA leaders should contact us if they want support for RS polls: Owaisi« Back to recommendation storiesI don't want to see these stories becauseThey are not relevant to meThey disrupt the reading flowOthersSUBMITDeshmukh was arrested in November 2021 by the ED. "Being a standing MLA, the applicant (Deshmukh) is a member of the Electoral College for the election of members to the Rajya Sabha. The applicant is desirous to exercise his franchise and cast his vote," Deshmukh's bail application had said. The ED had told the special court that Deshmukh is the main accused in the money laundering case registered against him and is currently in judicial custody after being arrested in November last year. "Further, it is pertinent to mention that prisoners do not have voting rights under the Representation of People (RP) Act," the probe agency said. The ED opposed Malik's plea on similar grounds. As per the ED, Deshmukh had misused his position as state home minister and collected Rs 4.70 crore from various bars in Mumbai through some police officers. Malik was arrested by the ED on February 23 this year in a money laundering case linked to the activities of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his aides. After more than two decades, the state will witness a contest in the Rajya Sabha polls as there are seven candidates in the fray for the six seats. The ruling Shiv Sena has fielded two candidates, its MVA allies NCP and Congress have nominated one candidate each, while the opposition BJP has put up three candidates. The contest lies between BJP's Dhananjay Mahadik and Shiv Sena's Sanjay Pawar.

  • Jailed Maha Minister Nawab Malik Seeks 1-day Bail to Cast Vote in Rajya Sabha Polls
  • News18

  • Jailed Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik seeks 1-day bail to cast vote in RS polls
  • The Economic Times

    Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik, currently in jail following arrest in a money laundering case, on Monday approached a special court here seeking bail for one day to cast vote in the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections to six seats from the state.Last week, Maharashtra's former home minister Anil Deshmukh, who is also in jail on money laundering charges, had filed a similar application.On Monday, a special court in Mumbai, designated to hear cases related to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file its affidavit to both the applications (Malik and Deshmukh) and posted them for further hearing on June 8.The Rajya Sabha polls are scheduled on June 10.Malik was arrested by the ED on February 23 this year in connection with a money laundering probe linked to the activities of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his aides.The NCP leader in his application sought to be released on bail for a day on June 10.Malik in his plea claimed that he is an elected MLA and hence, is duty bound to represent the residents of his constituency in electing a representative to the Rajya Sabha, and is also desirous to cast his vote in the aforesaid biennial elections.The 288-member Maharashtra Assembly forms the electoral college for the Rajya Sabha polls.While the two NCP MLAS - Deshmukh and Malik- are currently in jail, one seat is lying vacant.Apart from the four main parties Shiv Sena, NCP, Congress and BJP, the Assembly has 25 MLAs from smaller parties and Independents.The effective election quota per candidate is 42.The BJP, which has 106 members in the House, has nominated Union minister Piyush Goyal, Anil Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik.The NCP has re-nominated former Union minister Praful Patel, while the Congress has fielded Imran Pratapgarhi. Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar are nominees of the Shiv Sena.The electoral contest for the sixth Rajya Sabha seat lies between BJP's Dhananjay Mahadik and Shiv Sena's Sanjay Pawar.

  • Jailed Maharashtra Minister Seeks 1-Day Bail To Cast Vote In Rajya Sabha Polls
  • Ndtv

    Nawab Malik was arrested on February 23 this year in connection with a money laundering case.Mumbai: Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik, currently in jail following arrest in a money laundering case, on Monday approached a special court here seeking bail for one day to cast vote in the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections to six seats from the state.Last week, Maharashtra's former home minister Anil Deshmukh, who is also in jail on money laundering charges, had filed a similar application.On Monday, a special court in Mumbai, designated to hear cases related to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file its affidavit to both the applications (Malik and Deshmukh) and posted them for further hearing on June 8.The Rajya Sabha polls are scheduled on June 10.Mr Malik was arrested by the ED on February 23 this year in connection with a money laundering probe linked to the activities of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his aides.The NCP leader in his application sought to be released on bail for a day on June 10.Mr Malik in his plea claimed that he is an elected MLA and hence, is duty bound to represent the residents of his constituency in electing a representative to the Rajya Sabha, and is also desirous to cast his vote in the aforesaid biennial elections.The 288-member Maharashtra Assembly forms the electoral college for the Rajya Sabha polls.While the two NCP MLAS - Deshmukh and Malik- are currently in jail, one seat is lying vacant.Apart from the four main parties Shiv Sena, NCP, Congress and BJP, the Assembly has 25 MLAs from smaller parties and Independents.The effective election quota per candidate is 42.The BJP, which has 106 members in the House, has nominated Union minister Piyush Goyal, Anil Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe NCP has re-nominated former Union minister Praful Patel, while the Congress has fielded Imran Pratapgarhi. Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar are nominees of the Shiv Sena.The electoral contest for the sixth Rajya Sabha seat lies between BJP's Dhananjay Mahadik and Shiv Sena's Sanjay Pawar.

Rajya Sabha polls: Maharashtra set to witness nail-biting finish
Deccan Herald | 4 months ago | |
Deccan Herald
4 months ago | |

Maharashtra is all set to witness a nail-biting finish in the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections for six seats with an additional candidate in fray for the June 10 polls.Given the arithmetic in the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly - the electoral college - the BJP can win two seats, while the Maha Vikas Aghadi partners can win seats seats - two for Shiv Sena and one each for NCP and Congress.Mounting pressure on the MVA, the BJP has fielded three candidates - Piyush Goyal, who is the Commerce and Industry Minister in the Narendra Modi-led NDA government, Dr Anil Bonde, a party stalwart from Vidarbha region, and Dhananjay Mahadik, a former MP from Kolhapur.The Shiv Sena has renominated Sanjay Raut for a fourth term and Sanjay Pawar, party’s district chief from Kolhapur after Yuvraj SambhajiRaje Chhatrapati from the royal seat of Kolhapur remained firm on contesting as an Independent.The NCP has renominated Praful Patel, who was the Civil Aviation Minister in the erstwhile Dr Manmohan Singh-led UPA government and a close confidante of Pawar.Also Read: RS polls: Cong fields second candidate to checkmate JD(S) The Congress has sprung a surprise by bringing in Imran Pratapgarhi, a Uttar Pradesh-based Urdu poet.The electoral college is the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly - and a candidate needs 42 votes to win the berth to the House of Elders.The MVA has 170 MLAs - Shiv Sena (55), NCP (53), Congress (44), smaller parties/groups (10) and Independents (8). Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke had died recently.On the other hand, BJP has strength of 106 and has support of smaller parties/groups (2) and Independents (5).Given the arithmetic in the Vidhan Sabha, the BJP can get two members elected while the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, one each. The NCP and Congress will transfer its extra votes to Shiv Sena. 

Rajya Sabha polls: Maharashtra set to witness nail-biting finish
MVA, BJP have their task cut out ahead of MLC polls
Deccan Herald | 4 months ago | |
Deccan Herald
4 months ago | |

Maharashtra tri-party ruling alliance Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and the opposition BJP will be pitted against each other for 10 seats during the Maharashtra Legislative Council elections on June 20.There could be surprises and new faces in the Upper House given the fact that the mega municipal and local bodies polls are expected to be held later this year and run up to the 2024 Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls. “With series of elections ahead and issues like OBC reservation in local bodies, Maratha reservation, both the sides -- MVA and BJP would have to do a balancing act in fielding candidates,” political observers said, adding that while some new faces will have to be brought in some seniors too would have to be accommodated.Since it would be a secret ballot, both sides would have to keep their flock together and sort out internal differences and avoid horsetrading. Given the arithmetic, BJP can win four seats and MVA can pitch in for six seats.From NCP, the retiring members are Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar of NCP, who is the chairman of Maharashtra Legislative Council and Sanjay Dound. The two Shiv Sena members who are retiring are Diwakar Raote and Subhash Desai, who is the Industries, Mining and Marathi Language Minister. Those from BJP who are retiring are Pravin Darekar, the Leader of Opposition, Prasad Lad and Sujitsinh Thakur. BJP member RN Singh had passed away in January this year.Two BJP-backed Independents are Sadabhau Khot, the president of Rayat Kranti Sanghatana and former Minister of State for Agriculture and Vinayak Mete of Shiv Sangram. The polls are scheduled to be held on June 20, according to the Election Commission of India announcement. The electoral college comprises the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.The MVA has 170 MLAs -- Shiv Sena (55), NCP (53), Congress (44), smaller parties/groups (10) and 8 Independents. On the other hand, BJP has strength of 106 and has support of smaller parties/groups (2) and 5 Independents. The quota for one seat is 27 votes.

MVA, BJP have their task cut out ahead of MLC polls
An interesting turn in RS polls in Maharashtra chapter
Deccan Herald | 4 months ago | |
Deccan Herald
4 months ago | |

In what appears to be a snub to Yuvraj SambhajiRaje Chhatrapati, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday decided to field Sanjay Pawar, the saffron party’s district chief from Kolhapur for the Rajya Sabha polls.SambhajiRaje, who is part of the Kolhapur royal family, is the 13th direct descendent of the iconic Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and grandson of legendary social reformer Rajrishi Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj.SambhajiRaje had planned to contest the RS polls as an Independent candidate and sought support of various political parties and had even met Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray.Also Read | Will support any candidate chosen by Shiv Sena for Rajya Sabha polls, says Sharad PawarThe Shiv Sena asked him to join the party and contest, an offer that SambhajiRaje declined.From June 13, 2016, to May 3, 2022, SambhajiRaje was the President-nominated Rajya Sabha member, and is keen to serve the House of Elders.“We respect him (SambhajiRaje), his family, and the throne, which is why we asked him to join the Shiv Sena so that he can contest as the sixth candidate for the polls…but kings are kings because of soldiers,” Raut said.“Sanjay Pawar is mavala (soldier) of Shiv Sena and party chief (Uddhav Thackeray) has decided to give him candidature. But the official announcement will be made very soon,” Shiv Sena chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut said.Raut said that the chapter for the sixth RS seat is now closed.The electoral college is the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, and a candidate needs 42 votes to win the berth to the House of Elders.The Maha Vikas Aghadi, the Shiv Sena-led alliance ruling Maharashtra, has 170 MLAs in the state Assembly. Shiv Sena leads the MVA with 55 seats, NCP close behind with 53 seats, Congress with 44, and the smaller parties/groups as well as Independents making up the rest of the coalition. The Bharatiya Janata Party, on the other hand, has 106 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly and has support of two seats from smaller parties/groups and five Independent candidates.Given the arithmetic in the Vidhan Sabha, the BJP can get two members elected while the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, one each.The contest would be for the sixth seat.If SambhajiRaje contests as an Independent, the battle could get interesting.

An interesting turn in RS polls in Maharashtra chapter
Maharashtra's Rajya Sabha polls crucial for BJP, MVA government
Deccan Herald | 4 months ago | |
Deccan Herald
4 months ago | |

The Rajya Sabha elections next month for six seats from Maharashtra is set to be interesting with a contest in sight given the arithmetic in the state's Vidhan Sabha.The retiring members are Piyush Goyal, Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Dr Vikas Mahatme (all from BJP), P Chidambaram (Congress), Praful Patel (NCP) and Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena).With Yuvraj Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati - the 13th direct descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the iconic Maratha warrior, and great-grandson of Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, the legendary social reformer, deciding to contest as an Independent, the contest has becoming interesting.Sambhajiraje was the President-nominated Rajya Sabha member from June 13, 2016 to May 3, 2022.While, Sambhajiraje had decided to contest as an independent and seek support of all political parties, none of the parties have made any commitment.For both the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi and opposition BJP, the polls are crucial.While none of the parties have declared the candidates officially - the BJP is set to repeat Goyal, who Minister of Textiles, Minister of Commerce and Industry in the Narendra Modi-government, Shiv Sena would give nomination again to Raut, the party’s chief spokesperson and pointsman and NCP will field Patel, the close aide of NCP founder-President Sharad Pawar and the party’s General Secretary.The electoral college is the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly - and a candidate needs 42 votes to win the berth to the upper house.Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke had died recently.The MVA has 170 MLAs - Shiv Sena (55), NCP (53), Congress (44), smaller parties/groups (10) and Independents (8).On the other hand, BJP has strength of 106 and has support of smaller parties/groups (2) and Independents (5).Given the arithmetic in the Vidhan Sabha, the BJP can get two members elected while the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, one each.The contest would be for the sixth seat - and in case BJP decides to field a third candidate, it would be a sort of acid test for the MVA.Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar are in touch with each other on the issue of a fourth seat or the MVA. Thackeray had held informal meetings with Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar of the NCP and state Revenue Minister and CLP leader Balasaheb Thorat.It may be mentioned, during the April, 2020 RS polls, NCP nominee Fauzia Khan had won because Shiv Sena transferred excess votes and the NCP will make a similar gesture to Shiv Sena this time.Last week, Sambhajiraje met Leader of Opposition and ex-Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis but the former said that it was to thank him and the BJP leadership for giving the opportunity for his term as Rajya Sabha member. But he made it clear that he would not contest as an Independent and expected that the big four parties, smaller parties and Independents would support him.

Maharashtra's Rajya Sabha polls crucial for BJP, MVA government
  • Conduct polls 1st in areas that see less rainfall, SC tells Maharashtra
  • Times of India

    NEW DELHI: Taking note of the arrival of monsoon in Maharashtra, which could create problems in holding local bodies elections, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said the government and the state election commission could proceed with holding polls in areas which normally receive less rainfall and rest of the elections could be conducted after monsoon. A bench headed by justice AM Khanwilkar allowed the plea of the state election commission, which was directed by the court to notify the election date without any delay. Observing that it is the constitutional mandate to hold polls after every five years and any delay can’t be brooked, the Supreme Court on May 4 directed the Maharashtra election commission to start the poll process for over 2,400 local bodies across the state and directed that notification be issued within two weeks.

  • Hold Maharashtra local polls where there's less rain, says Supreme Court
  • Times of India

    NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: Taking note of the arrival of monsoon in Maharashtra, which could create problems in holding local body elections, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said the government and state election commission (SEC) could proceed with holding polls in areas which normally receive less rainfall and the rest of the elections could be conducted after monsoon. A bench headed by justice A M Khanwilkar allowed the plea of the SEC and directed it to notify the election date without any delay. Observing that it is the constitutional mandate to hold elections after every five years and any delay cannot be brooked, the SC had on May 4 directed the Maharashtra election commission to start the poll process for over 2,400 local bodies. Elections in Mumbai-Konkan belt likely only after monsoonThe Supreme Court had said there are more than 2,400 local bodies in Maharashtra for which elections have to be conducted and the election process could not be linked with the delimitation process. The court also made it clear there would be no OBC reservation in these elections. Sources in the state election commission or SEC said on Tuesday that the process of poll preparation itself would stretch till the end of July. After that, the India Meteorological Department and the local administration would have to be consulted about weather conditions during the monsoon before scheduling the local body polls. In any case, this would mean that in the Mumbai-Konkan belt, which faces a heavy monsoon, the polls would be held only after the rains. In the last hearing earlier this month, the SEC had already informed the apex court that the process of demarcating the ward boundaries, marking reservations and revising the electoral roll in local bodies would stretch till July. It had also informed the apex court that the polls would best be held after the monsoon months given the logistical hurdles and the low voter turnout. "In Maharashtra, floods and disasters have been experienced in different regions," pointed out a senior official who did not wish to be named. "The poll dates will be decided by the state election commission. We are ready to face elections at any time," said state parliamentary affairs minister Anil Parab. "The polls should now go ahead. The state stands exposed because it has not been able to provide for the OBC quota," said BJP MLC and leader of opposition in the legislative council Praveen Darekar. Maharashtra faces elections to a series of local bodies including 15 key municipal corporations, 25 zilla parishads and 284 panchayat samitis. Also 2,000 gram panchayats and 220 nagar panchayats and nagar parishads. (With inputs from TNN)

Pradeep Sharma main conspirator of Mansukh Hiren murder, NIA says
Deccan Herald | 5 months ago | |
Deccan Herald
5 months ago | |

Former 'encounter specialist' Pradeep Sharma - who eliminated 113 criminals during his career as a cop - is the main conspirator behind the murder of Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiren, whose gelatin stick-laden SUV and threat note was parked near the home of the Ambani family in Mumbai.Besides Sharma, dismissed Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze funded the entire plot and paid Rs 45 lakh for the murder, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said in an affidavit filed in the Bombay High Court.Often referred to as ‘Mumbai’s Dirty Harry’, Sharma, who had taken VRS and joined Shiv Sena to unsuccessfully contest the Vidhan Sabha polls, had eliminated 113 criminals including gangsters, underworld dons, terrorists and sharpshooters during his three-decade career.“Pradeep Sharma was an active member of a gang that had conspired to terrorise people, including the Ambani family, and murdered Mansukh Hiren as he was a weak link in the conspiracy, " the NIA said in the affidavit, which was filed in response to the bail plea of the former cop.A division bench comprising Justice A S Chandurkar and Justice G A Sanap has kept the petition for hearing in July.Sharma, who was arrested on June 17, 2021, is currently in judicial custody and lodged in a jail.On the intervening night of February 24-25, 2021, a Scorpio SUV with 20-odd gelatin sticks and a threatening letter was parked outside Shikhar Kunj building on the Carmichael Road, near Antilia, the residence of the Reliance Group Chairman Mukesh Ambani.The original number plate of the Mahindra Scorpio bearing MH-02-AY-2815 was replaced with a fake number MH-01-DK-9945, which is actually a number of Range Rover that was part of security detail of Reliance Foundation Chairperson Nita Ambani.Hiren went missing on March 4 and his body was found the next day at the Reti-bunder in Mumbra-Kalwa area of Thane.The investigation were taken over by the NIA from the Anti-Terrorism Squad and Maharashtra Police - and a total of 10 persons have been arrested in the sensational case that shook the Maha Vikas Aghadi government with opposition BJP raising the issue.“When Hiren refused to take blame for the crime, Vaze hatched a conspiracy with Sharma and the other accused to kill Hiren so that he (Hiren) does not divulge that Vaze was the one who parked the vehicle outside Antilia," the NIA affidavit states.

Pradeep Sharma main conspirator of Mansukh Hiren murder, NIA says
Is Shiv Sena descending into BJP's trap?
Deccan Herald | 5 months ago | |
Deccan Herald
5 months ago | |

The Shiv Sena seems to be slowly descending into the BJP's trap as a result of the Azan-Hanuman Chalisa loudspeaker row in Maharashtra.The BJP deployed many of its personnel to target Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, who heads the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.As the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government complete the halfway mark, their troubles seem to be compounding even as their leaders come under the intense scrutiny of Central agencies like the CBI, the ED and the NIA.Also Read: Raj Thackeray's speech aimed at dividing society: Dilip Walse PatilA host of municipal and local body polls are expected in 2022-23 in Maharashtra, which would be a sort of mini-Assembly polls in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha polls.The most crucial election is the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the richest civic body whose Budget is bigger than some small states.Battlelines were drawn on the occasion of Gudi-Padwa a month ago when MNS President Raj Thackeray demanded that loudspeakers be removed from mosques. If that didn't happen, he said that his party workers would play the Hanuman-Chalisa at double the volume.The BJP, including Leader of Opposition in the Assembly and ex-two time Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, his Council counterpart Pravin Darekar and state President Chandrakant Patil backed Raj, who is Uddhav's estranged cousin.While the state witnessed another Raj-Uddhav clash, the Rana couple - Navneet Kaur Rana, independent MP from Amravati, and Ravi Rana, her husband and three-time MLA from Badnera, declared that they would recite the Hanuman-Chalisa outside Matoshree, the residence of Thackeray. This led to a war of words and Shiv Sainiks took to the streets - much on expected lines - and what followed were arrests, a couple of FIRs and sedition charges.Also Read: No Shiv Sainik was present when Babri Masjid was brought down: Devendra FadnavisUnion MSME Minister Narayan Rane, who is Uddhav's bete noire, and Fadnavis came out in support of the Rana couple. Rane again raked up the deaths of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput and talent manager Disha Salian.The situation is also a challenge for veteran politician Sharad Pawar's NCP as his party holds the Home Affairs portfolio.Veteran political analyst, journalist and writer Prakash Akolkar said: "Over the developments of the last month and reading today's newspapers, it gave me the impression that we are somewhere in 1992."Akolkar's view assumes significance when considering that Fadnavis has vowed to make a comeback and lashed out at the party's former ally by saying that not a single Shiv Sena member was present when the Babri Masjid was brought down. "People who're scared of removing loudspeakers from mosques are saying that they demolished Babri," said Fadnavis, adding that the Shiv Sena no longer represented Hindutva.The late Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray, after the demolition of the Babri Masjid on Dec. 6, 1992, had said: "Babri padli, ti padnarya Shiv Sainikancha mala abhiman ahe" (I am proud of the Shiv Sainiks who razed Babri).Uddhav, in response, chose to put the ball into the Centre's court and said: "The 'note-bandi' (demonetisation) was nationwide… the (Covid-19) lockdown was nationwide… similarly, carry out 'bhonga-bandi' (loudspeaker ban) nationwide."Watch the latest DH Videos here:

Is Shiv Sena descending into BJP's trap?
Chalo Ayodhya for the Thackerays
Deccan Herald | 5 months ago | |
Deccan Herald
5 months ago | |

With a series of local body polls lined up leading to the 2024 Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections, the two Thackeray cousins seem to be working hard on wooing Hindu voters in Maharashtra. Both the Shiv Sena and rival Maharashtra Navnirman Sena have announced visits to Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Ram, coinciding with the Hanuman Jayanti festivities. While Maharashtra chief minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray’s minister-son Aaditya Thackeray would visit Ayodhya in May, MNS president Raj Thackeray would go to the temple town in June. Over the statements of Raj in the last fortnight, it is clear that he has support from BJP and is speaking on their lines targeting the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. “I will soon visit Ayodhya and seek blessings. It would be a one-day visit, and I would be going in the first week of May,” said Aaditya on Saturday. Shiv Sena chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut said that Shiv Sena’s Nashik unit would organise the Ayodhya tour. “Aaditya will take the darshan of Ram Lalla and would also go to the banks of the Sarayu River,” said Raut, a Rajya Sabha member. “We are not going to Ayodhya only now, we have been going there since the Babri Mosque’s dome was pulled down and till the groundbreaking for the Ram temple was done….anyone with a clean heart and mind can go there” said Raut. After the MVA government came to power, Uddhav had announced a donation of Rs 1 crore to Shri Ram Janambhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust from the Shiv Sena. Raj announced that he would visit Ayodhya on 5 June. Besides, on 1 May, which coincides with the Maharashtra Day, he would visit Aurangabad and address a grand rally - in which is expected to speak about the future course.Speaking to reporters in Pune on Sunday, he also said that he maintains that he is against loudspeakers on mosques. “No one has opposed the offering of prayers. But if you (Muslims) do it on loudspeaker, then we’ll also use loudspeakers for it. Muslims should understand that religion isn’t bigger than the law. After May 3, when Ramzan ends, we will play Hanuman-chalisa five times on loudspeakers,” said Raj.Watch latest videos by DH here:

Chalo Ayodhya for the Thackerays
MVA triumphs over BJP in Kolhapur North bye-elections
Deccan Herald | 5 months ago | |
Deccan Herald
5 months ago | |

Amid fierce attacks from the BJP, the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi put up a united front with the Congress defeating the national saffron party in Kolhapur North bye-elections in Maharashtra. Congress candidate Jayshree Jadhav defeated Satyajit Kadam by a margin of over 18,000 votes in the elections that witnessed intense fortnight-long campaign involving war-of-words between the two sides. Winning the seat has come as a boost to the MVA, the Uddhav Thackeray-led and the Sharad Pawar-crafted anti BJP-coalition. Also Read: TMC, Congress take on BJP in West Bengal, Bihar bypollsThe bye-elections in this important Western Maharashtra seat has been necessitated owing to the death of Congress MLA Chandrakant Jadhav, who passed away on 2 December, 2021, because of Covid-19 related complications. The Congress had fielded Jayshree Jadhav, the wife of Chandrakant Jadhav against Kadam, who is the nephew of former legislator and veteran politician Mahadeorao Mahadik.It may be recalled, during the 2019 Vidhan Sabha polls, Chandrakant Jadhav had defeated two-time Shiv Sena legislator Rajesh Kshirsagar, who is currently the executive chairman of Maharashtra State Planning Board. State BJP president Chandrakant Patil, who hails from Kolhapur, had been camping in Kolhapur for over two weeks while the Congress charge was undertaken by minister of state for home and information technology Satej Patil, who is also the guardian minister of the district. “We will surely analyse what went wrong,” said Chandrakant Patil, however, pointing out that it was three parties taking on one.“The Kolhapur formula needs to be taken across the country. Polarisation did not work here, money did not work here. We did micro planning and had a carefully drafted strategy,” said Satej Patil.Watch the latest DH Videos here:

MVA triumphs over BJP in Kolhapur North bye-elections
BJP, Congress chiefs lock horns in Kolhapur
Deccan Herald | 6 months ago | |
Deccan Herald
6 months ago | |

A war-of-words has broken out between Maha Vikas Aghadi partner Congress and opposition BJP with the latter’s state president Chandrakant Patil issuing a veiled threat to voters in Kolhapur. The bye-elections to Kolhapur North are scheduled on April 12 and campaigning is at its peak.Over the weekend, Patil, a former revenue minister, who hails from Kolhapur, claimed that some voters are being transferred money by Congress through a digital payment system. However, he refrained voters from doing so or else action would follow from the Enforcement Directorate. Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole, however, hit back at him. “After threatening the opposition, now the BJP is using the ED to threaten the voters in the state,” he said. Patole said that it is very unfortunate that Patil has threatened the voters in Kolhapur about ED raids on them. Also read: BJP's friendship a key arrow in Raj Thackeray's quiver against Maha Vikas AghadiHe said that the BJP is scared that its voter base has shrunk. “The people of Maharashtra have shown the BJP its place in the local body elections,” said Patole.“In the last seven years, the misuse of ED, IT and CBI has increased in the non-BJP states. Ever since the BJP has been ousted from power in the state, their mental balance has deteriorated. Out of this frustration, they are creating an atmosphere of fear by misusing the central investigative machinery,” he added.The bye-elections in this important Western Maharashtra seat have been necessitated because of the death of Congress MLA Chandrakant Jadhav, who passed away on December 2, 2021, because of Covid-19 related complications. While the Congress had fielded Jayshree Jadhav, the wife of Chandrakant Jadhav, the BJP has given a ticket to Satyajit Kadam who is the nephew of former legislator and veteran politician Mahadeorao Mahadik.It may be recalled that during the 2019 Vidhan Sabha polls, Chandrakant Jadhav had defeated two-time Shiv Sena legislator Rajesh Kshirsagar, who is currently the executive chairman of the Maharashtra State Planning Board. Kshirsagar was keen to contest the polls but Maharashtra chief minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray decided to concede the seat to Congress as it had its MLA there. Check out DH's latest videos

BJP, Congress chiefs lock horns in Kolhapur
Battle line drawn for Assembly bypoll to Kolhapur North
Deccan Herald | 6 months ago | |
Deccan Herald
6 months ago | |

A direct contest between the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi and opposition BJP is in the cards at the Kolhapur North seat Assembly bypoll in Maharashtra.Winning this seat of Kolhapur district is a matter of prestige for both the sides - and they are leaving no stones unturned.The bye-elections in this important Western Maharashtra seat has been necessitated because of the death of Congress MLA Chandrakant Jadhav, who passed away in December 2021 because of Covid-19 related complications.The bye-elections are slated for April 12, while the counting would be taken up on April 16.While the Congress had fielded Jayshree Jadhav, the wife of Chandrakant Jadhav, the BJP has given ticket to Satyajit Kadam who is the nephew of former legislator and veteran politician Mahadeorao Mahadik.During the 2019 Vidhan Sabha polls, Chandrakant Jadhav had defeated two-time Shiv Sena legislator Rajesh Kshirsagar, who is currently the executive chairman of Maharashtra State Planning Board.Kshirsagar was keen to contest the polls but Maharashtra chief minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray decided to concede the seat to Congress as it had its MLA there.“Jayshree Jadav will be now an MVA candidate and Kshirsagar will work for her victory. This will be a politically prestigious bye-election for MVA and therefore all three ruling partners will work together,” said minister of state for home and information technology Satej Patil, a senior Congressman.Shiv Sena chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut,  said: “The seat is very important for Shiv Sena. Last time (in 2019) we contested the seat with an alliance (with BJP) but lost and Congress won the seat. As of now, the seat has been given to Congress. Before the 2024 elections we would review.”BJP state unit president Chandrakant Patil said that the BJP will win the seat for sure. “The BJP has an alliance with half a dozen (smaller) parties,” he said.Watch latest videos by DH here:

Battle line drawn for Assembly bypoll to Kolhapur North
Poll outcome would not have bearing on Maharashtra: Sharad Pawar
Deccan Herald | 6 months ago | |
Deccan Herald
6 months ago | |

The poll outcome from the five states would not have any bearing on the future of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance in Maharashtra, NCP founder-president Sharad Pawar said.The opposition BJP, which was forced to sit out of power after the 2019 Vidhan Sabha polls, had been very aggressive against the MVA dispensation, hitting it out on multiple occasions on various issues. Pawar, however, had ruled out any problems to the state government, of which he is the chief architect. “There would not be any impact,” he said. Pawar, a four-time Maharashtra Chief Minister and three-term Union Minister having handled portfolios of Defence and Agriculture, said that opposition parties need to be together to give an alternative to the BJP. Also Read: How BJP mastered the alphabets of return to power“I am not saying this will happen tomorrow itself. The Parliament's session will resume on 14 March. We will be there for around a month. So we will sit together, discuss and decide the future course of action,” he said.The statement assumes significance in wake of the fact that Telangana Chief Minister and TRS founder K Chandrashekar Rao has been meeting top leaders opposed to BJP. Last month, Rao had met Pawar and Thackeray and he is in touch with several party presidents and chief ministers. Pawar also said Punjab results were a shock for the Congress. “Punjab is a State where Congress was in power…the change in Punjab (where AAP swept the polls) is not favourable to the BJP (either). The result gives a shock to the Congress,” he said.“The AAP's governance in Delhi (led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal) helped it in Punjab as the common people living in the national capital have accepted the Kejriwal-led party,” the veteran politician said. Shiv Sena chief spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut too echoed similar sentiments. “The Congress party has lost badly in these elections. We didn't get the expected results. In Punjab people got another option and elected AAP. BJP's win is a victory for their election management too,” Raut said. Watch the latest DH Videos here:

Poll outcome would not have bearing on Maharashtra: Sharad Pawar
Nawab Malik's arrest politically motivated, being linked to Dawood Ibrahim because he is Muslim, says Sharad Pawar
Deccan Herald | 7 months ago | |
Deccan Herald
7 months ago | |

NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday said that the arrest of party leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik is "politically motivated" and attempts were made to connect him to fugitive Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim because he is a Muslim.He also dismissed the demands raised by the Opposition seeking the resignation of Malik. Malik was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on February 23 in a money-laundering probe linked to the activities of Dawood Ibrahim and his aides.Also Read | Maharashtra Governor leaves without completing Vidhan Sabha address"Malik's arrest is a politically motivated one. He is being linked to Dawood Ibrahim because he is a Muslim. Malik and his family members are being deliberately harassed but we will fight back," the NCP chief said. When asked about the opposition BJP's demand for Malik's resignation as a minister, Pawar said different yardsticks are being applied to Union minister Narayan Rane, who belongs to BJP, and Malik."I don't remember our (Congress') former party worker Narayan Rane had to resign after his arrest recently. Tomorrow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is coming to Pune. He may explain more about it. Applying one yardstick for Malik and another for Rane shows that all this was politically motivated," he claimed.Also Read | Fadnavis accuses MVA govt of being devoted to fugitive don Dawood IbrahimRane was arrested last August by the police at Sangameshwar in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra for his statement that he would have slapped state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for forgetting the year India got freedom during his Independence Day speech.Speaking about the alleged tapping of phones of select politicians when BJP was in power in Maharashtra, Pawar said, "I have seen the record of phone tapping of various leaders. It was done during the tenure of the Devendra Fadnavis government. Officials merely followed the orders and are now facing the consequences. I have never seen such a situation in the country before".Pawar also took a swipe at BJP and Maharashtra governor B S Koshyari, who has not approved the names of 12 MLCs sent to him by the Maharashtra cabinet for more than a year ago for their nomination to the Legislative Council."Maharashtra has the legacy of governors like PC Alexander among others. I should not talk about what the present governor is doing. The Central government is doing whatever it can do and Maharashtra is the latest example. "Getting nominated to the Vidhan Parishad is one's democratic right. But a year has passed and nothing is being done. If someone has decided not to maintain the prestige of the Constitutional post then what's the need to comment," Pawar said.Check out DH's latest videos:

Nawab Malik's arrest politically motivated, being linked to Dawood Ibrahim because he is Muslim, says Sharad Pawar
  • Nawab Malik: From just another politician to 'quam ka rehnuma'
  • Deccan Herald

    Nawab Malik has been part of Maharashtra's ruling circles for decades, but he wasn't the name that came to mind when one spoke of "Muslim faces" in the government. One knew of him as a minister, sometimes handling labour, sometimes housing. Unlike other Muslim ministers, he was never photographed with maulanas, nor did he take centre stage when Muslims were released after spending years in jail on false charges, not because he has always maintained a low profile, but simply because he didn't get involved in such matters.  He was no "qaum ka rehnuma" (leader of the community). He was just a politician. Today, when identity has become paramount, and representation is the buzzword, it's difficult to imagine a time when it was commonplace for Muslims to be part of government without being noticeably Muslim. Grouses about representation have been there for a long time; before every election, politically active Muslims would get together and demand that parties allot them more tickets. The demand was rarely met, and things would go back to normal after the results. But after Narendra Modi took over in 2014, things never went back to normal. It was no longer a question of not enough tickets. The question that began to be asked then had never needed to be asked: did Muslims matter anymore in our representative system of government?Modi's BJP made it clear that the only community that mattered was the majority community; all others, especially those following what the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has always described as "foreign" religions, had to efface their distinctiveness. Asaduddin Owaisi took this logic to the other extreme: Muslims must have a share in power, but only a Muslim party that flaunted the community's religious identity could give it to them.In this clash of arms, one reality continues to be ignored - the Muslim in government who is no different from his/her Hindu counterpart, who doesn't wear his/her faith like a badge. Does such a Muslim qualify in today's discussions on Muslim representation? So all-pervasive has the issue of identity become that we forget that for years Ghulam Nabi Azad was the leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha; that Salman Khurshid is one among many who represent the Congress in TV debates and that Muslim MLAs from the South often talk about their parties on matters that have nothing to do with being Muslim.Also read: No need for Malik to resign as he has not be proven guilty, says minister Jayant PatilNawab Malik has been the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesman for more than a decade. He is also its Mumbai president. The NCP is Malik's predominant identity. But over the last few months, this low profile politician, who continues to live with his joint family in his old flat in the predominantly Muslim area of Kurla, has acquired a new identity: that of the "Muslim leader" who dared to take on the all-powerful Hindutvavadi Central government on behalf of an unfairly targeted Bollywood icon. And now that he's paying the price for that audacity, Nawab Malik has become the latest "Muslim victim". That epithet seems like a cruel joke to the Muslims who live in the constituency where Malik began his political career. The man who's been minister thrice hasn't bothered to ensure for his earliest voters even the most basic of civic amenities. Malik now fights from another constituency, but this ghetto, dotted with piles of garbage and illegal constructions, remains under the menacing shadow of his brother.Few of these voters joined the NCP's protest when Malik was arrested last week. It wasn't just their own neglect by the minister that made them stay away; it was also Malik's silence on the lynchings and everyday humiliation of Muslims that have been a hallmark of BJP-ruled states in the last seven years. As a spokesperson of an opposition party, Malik could have spoken up on these crucial issues. He chose not to. When he did take the BJP on, they point out, it was only to avenge his son-in-law's arrest by the Narcotics Control Bureau.Yet, today, Muslims, in general, are proud that one of their own confronted the Centre. To the heroes and heroines of the fight against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)-National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the hijab ban, a most unlikely hero has been added. One wonders, though, whether Nawab Malik sees himself as part of this galaxy of fighters for the community. Going by his record as minorities minister for the last two years, he doesn't quite fit the bill.For thrusting this community halo on a man who shuns identity politics, credit must be given to the BJP and its relentless pursuit of Muslims at every level.(Jyoti Punwani is a journalist.)Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author's own. They do not necessarily reflect the views of DH.Check out DH's latest videos

VP Naidu backs Maharashtra Governor Koshyari over assembly ruckus
Deccan Herald | 7 months ago | |
Deccan Herald
7 months ago | |

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday backed Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari who was heckled Thursday by legislators in the Maharashtra assembly and was forced to curtail his address."We see certain incidents happening in Parliament — both in Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha — certain happenings in legislatures and certain incidents that are happening during the Governor's address and also the violent turn that is taking place in certain places during certain agitations," Naidu said during his at the inauguration of Goa Raj Bhavan's durbar hall. He is on a two-day visit to the coastal state."This should be avoided because it will weaken our democracy. People will get disillusioned if such things happen. Governor is a constitutional authority, a legislature is an elected body. Parliament is a supreme place where laws are being made," he said.Also read: Maharashtra Governor leaves without completing Vidhan Sabha addressNaidu said that the mandate of the people must be respected in legislatures."In a democracy, if you don't like any address, you can criticise after the address is over. If you don't like a budget you can criticise the budget in a democratic system. Then if you don't want a government, you have to be patient, you can educate and agitate peacefully and wait for your turn. You must have the patience to respect the mandate of the people," Naidu added, while also urging legislators to ensure that "dignity, standards, morals and ethics are maintained in public life".Against the backdrop of the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, Naidu also said that expansionist ideas were causing tension across the globe."We are seeing what is happening around the globe. We should all really commit ourselves to universal peace because it is the prerequisite for progress. If you have tension, you cannot pay attention," Naidu said.

VP Naidu backs Maharashtra Governor Koshyari over assembly ruckus