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Coronavirus shadow hangs on Uddhav election

The six-month period for the Shiv Sena leader to get elected ends on May 28

By PTI in Mumbai

  • Published 3.04.20, 4:55 AM
  • Updated 3.04.20, 4:55 AM
Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai.
Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai. PTI

Uddhav Thackeray, who took oath as Maharashtra chief minister in November last year, has to get elected to either House of the state legislature by the end of May to remain in office.

According to Article 164 (4) of the Constitution, a minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of the legislature shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a minister.

The six-month period for the Shiv Sena leader to get elected ends on May 28.

However, political activity has come to a standstill because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Gram panchayat elections scheduled for March have been deferred.

Nine Legislative Council seats will fall vacant on April 24 and Thackeray was to be elected as an MLC during the biennial elections to these nine seats.

However, the Election Commission of India has not announced the election schedule because of the pandemic.

The poll panel had earlier deferred the Rajya Sabha polls and said the fresh date would be announced later.

According to sources, if the dates for the biennial elections to the nine Legislative Council seats are not announced after the lockdown period ends on April 14, the state might head for a political logjam if Thackeray has to resign and cannot be sworn in again till he becomes a member of either House of the legislature.

Sources in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi, however, expressed confidence that this would not happen.

Sources said Thackeray would have the option of getting elected as one of the 12 appointees of the governor. Vacancies for the 12 seats will be in June.

Asked about it, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told PTI: “We haven’t given a thought to this issue as yet. But a solution would be found. A situation will not arise that the state may have to face a political crisis, I can say this with confidence.”