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Amid Centre-state row, hectic politicking in Maharashtra

Monday - May 25, 2020 10:35 pm , Category : INDIA
Mumbai, May 25 (IANS) Amid the ongoing row between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre and the Maharashtra's Maha Vikas Aghadi government over the issue of migrants' trains and the Covid-19 pandemic, hectic politicking started in the state on Monday, sparking off speculation.
Tongues started wagging as Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar went to meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan, in what was described by both sides as a "courtesy call".
Accompanied by NCP MP Praful Patel, this was Pawar's first-ever meeting with the Governor who was appointed in September 2019, crowning a series of recent political developments in the state.
Later in the afternoon, it was the turn of BJP leader and former Chief Minister Narayan Rane to meet the Governor and reportedly demand imposing President's rule in the state.
Among various things, Rane has claimed the government headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had failed to handle the Covid-19 pandemic crisis in the state.
Rane's demand came days after Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis called on Koshyari and complained that the Thackeray government had bungled in handling the coronavirus situation.
The Governor followed it up by a review meeting of the crisis in which Thackeray excused himself but sent his close confidante Milind Narvekar.
A couple of days later, Koshyari raised strong objections to a letter written by Minister of Higher and Technical Education Uday Samant to the UGC recommending cancellation of final year university examinations, which the Governor pointed out was against the guidelines.
This was followed by Sena MP Sanjay Raut calling on the Governor, and a day later, Thackeray announced that the lockdown implemented suddenly was not proper, and lifting it abruptly would be detrimental to the people.
Then, Thackeray had ommented on Sunday that though the state wanted 80 trains daily to send migrants home, the Railway Ministry was giving around 30-40. Ostensibly taking umbrage at this, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday night gave a one-hour deadline to Thackeray to provide the list of all the migrants intending to travel and he would provide 125 trains for them.
This sparked off a huge verbal brawl between the BJP and the MVA allies Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress.
The state also witnessed another fracas with the Civil Aviation Ministry over its reluctance to permit domestic flights, but later relented and allowed 25 incoming and 25 outgoing services, from Monday.
Top political sources in the MVA late Monday night said despite the goings-on, there was no threat to the state government which was stable.

--IANS qn/vd