Maharashtra chief minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray, who underwent a spine surgery on November 12 at a Mumbai hospital, joined the state cabinet through video-conferencing. The state government has proposed to hold the winter session in Mumbai between December 22 and 28. The final decision over the dates will be taken in the business advisory committee (BAC) meeting to be held on November 29 at Vidhan Bhavan.
Traditionally, the winter session of state legislature is held in Nagpur which is second capital of the state. However, in the wake of CM’s health issues, the state government has decided to hold the winter session in Mumbai.
Amid the uncertainty over CM’s appearance in the state cabinet on Thursday, Thackeray chaired the meeting from hospital bed for around an hour. Barring a few minutes towards the end of the meeting, the CM sat through the weekly meeting. Some procedures and physiotherapy sessions post-surgery have delayed Thackeray’s discharge from the hospital. According to officials from his office, CM is likely to remain hospitalised for a few more days.
“Even after his discharge from the hospital, he may take a couple of weeks to fully recover and resume work. He will begin working online, but for very limited time and for very important meetings. There is no question of handing over the charge to his deputy or any other senior minister,” said an official.
Thackeray has continued the decade-long practice of not handing over charge to deputy CM or any other senior minister in cases wherein the CM is away from his office for any reason. In the early 1990s, then CM Sharad Pawar had handed over his charge to a senior minister while he was on a foreign tour. Since 1995, none of the CMs have done so in case they were unable to attend the office.
Thackeray’s hospitalisation has delayed the winter session, which was scheduled to begin from December 7.
“The state government has not proposed to hold it between December 22 and 28, with the effective working days being four. Besides a few important bills, including the Shakti Act, the session will see the approval to supplementary demands and the election of the speaker of Assembly,” said a minister, requesting anonymity of name.
The minister said they have already spoken to leader of opposition Devendra Fandnavis to reach an amicable decision over changing the dates and venue of the winter session.
As per the Nagpur Pact of 1953, the winter session of the state legislature is to be held in the second capital every year. However, last year, too, it was held in Mumbai owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Doonited Affiliated: Syndicate News Hunt