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Mumbai, April 9, 2020
With all elections postponed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19)pandemic, the Maharashtra Cabinet on Wednesday adopted a resolution requesting Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to nominate Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray as a Member of Legislative Council (MLC), official sources said.
The cabinet, presided over by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, passed the unanimous resolution of the three ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi allies -- Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress.
Thackeray, who took oath as the CM on November 28 last year, is currently not a member of either House of the legislature.
As per the Constitution, he must get elected to either House of the legislature -- the Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council -- within six months to continue in his post.
In the past few days, there was intense speculation that Thackeray may be compelled to resign from his post if he did not become a member of either House by May 28, possibly resulting in a huge Constitutional deadlock.
However, such a possibility may have receded with the state cabinet formally deciding to request the Governor to nominate the CM to the upper house from his quota of two seats currently lying vacant.
Minorities Affairs Minister Nawab Malik said the decision was taken to avert a constitutional crisis in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
"The CM was not present at today's cabinet meeting which was presided over by the Deputy CM for the resolution to this effect," Malik told mediapersons.
Political circles said it would be a major blow to the administration if Thackeray would have been compelled to go out of the picture as the state grapples with its biggest challenge -- the Covid-19 pandemic raging in Maharashtra with the highest number of casualties and positive cases in the country.