MVA Coordination Committee Meets Day After Sharad Pawar Calls on Uddhav Thackeray

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday chaired a meeting of the coordination committee of the constituents of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) at his official residence here against the backdrop of various issues including the likely election to the post of the Assembly Speaker during the upcoming monsoon session of the state legislature, sources said.

A day earlier, NCP chief Sharad Pawar had met Thackeray, who heads Shiv Sena, amid speculation in state political circles over differences in MVA allies- Sena, NCP and Congress. Sharad Pawar had on Sunday said the MVA government was running smoothly and it would complete its full five-year term.

The meeting was held on Wednesday evening against the backdrop of the Enforcement Directorate summoning former state home minister Anil Deshmukh of NCP in connection with a money laundering case and the state BJP writing to Union Home Minister Amit Shah for a CBI investigation against Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Shiv Sena minister Anil Parab into the allegations leveled against them by dismissed Mumbai cop Sachin Waze.

The meeting was attended by Subhash Desai and Eknath Shinde (Shiv Sena), Ajit Pawar and Jayant Patil (NCP) and Ashok Chavan and Balasaheb Thorat (Congress) who are members of the committee. According to sources, the alliance leaders also discussed the possibility of holding the election to Speaker ‘s post during the two-day session beginning July 5. Simultaneously, demands are being raised from various quarters, including the BJP, to put off the elections to five Zilla Parishads scheduled to be held on July 19 against the backdrop of quashing of OBC quota in local bodies by the Supreme Court.

Recently, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had written to CM Thackeray to take a call on extending the duration of the upcoming monsoon session and filling the post of the assembly Speaker urgently citing the demands raised by a BJP delegation. In his letter dated June 24, the governor also asked the chief minister to take action on another demand made by the BJP to not hold elections to local bodies given that the OBC quota issue is pending.

Maharashtra Assembly Speaker ‘s post has been lying vacant since February this year after Nana Patole resigned to take charge as the state unit Congress president. According to sources, Congress leader Sangram Thopte, who hails from Pune district, is a front-runner to become the next Speaker. In a letter to Amit Shah seeking a CBI probe against Ajit Pawar and Parab, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil referred to a hand written note submitted by Waze to the NIA court in April in which the former assistant sub-inspector had claimed Pawar and Parab allegedly asked him to collect money from illegal gutkha sellers, manufacturers and contractors in the Mumbai civic body.

In the past, both Pawar and Parab had refuted the allegations made by Waze, who is currently in jail in the Antilia security scare-Mansukh Hiran murder case.

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