Sena Slams Shinde-Fadnavis Over Cabinet Expansion, Says Dispensation Trapped in ‘Constitutional Dilemma’

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The Shiv Sena on Monday attacked the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis dispensation in Maharashtra saying it was taking arbitrary decisions despite being trapped in a “constitutional dilemma” without a cabinet in place. Shinde and Fadnavis had taken oath as chief minister and deputy chief minister on June 30 but there has been no cabinet expansion since, even as the new government has gone about taking decisions on the metro rail carshed in Aarey, renaming of Aurangabad and Osmanabad as well as the upcoming Navi Mumbai airport, among others.

The Uddhav Thackeray faction of Shiv Sena insists the Shinde-Fadnavis government is illegal since the disqualification plea of rebel MLAs is pending before the Supreme Court. Earlier this month, it had also asked the governor not to administer oath to any minister as a disqualification plea was yet to be decided by the apex court. Dubbing Shinde and Fadnavis as Vasu and Sapna, the lead characters of the blockbuster film ‘Ek Duje Ke Like, the party in an editorial in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ on Monday said the two-member government is an unusual experiment and political family planning. but due to the Supreme Court resorting to a forced vasectomy, they have to face this situation (of not expanding the cabinet), the editorial said. An iconic film of 1981 starring Kamal Hasan and Rati Agnihotri, who play Vasu and Sapna, are madly in love with each other but meet a tragic end.

There has been a chief minister and a deputy chief minister in Maharashtra over the last 15 days, but one cannot call this a government, the party said. It said over 40 MLAs were herded between Surat, Guwahati and Goa amid the rebellion, but when they came back to Mumbai, only two (Shinde and Fadnavis) took oath. It asked how this two-pillar government could call the Uddhav Thackeray dispensation’s order to rename Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar, Osmanabad as Dharashiv and the new Navi Mumbai airport after D B Patil as unconstitutional. The party also slammed the Shinde government’s decision to resume work on the Aarey metro rail carshed, which the Thackeray government had stalled citing environment concerns. The Eknath Shinde-led government in Maharashtra on Saturday gave cabinet approval to rename Aurangabad and Osmanabad cities as Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and Dharashiv, respectively.

The decision to rename these cities was taken by the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in its last meeting on June 29. However, the Shinde government said the decisions were illegal as they were taken after the governor had asked for a floor test in the Assembly.

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