Koshyari informs PM Modi of his desire to step down as governor | Mumbai news

Amid demands of resignation over his controversial remarks, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has expressed his willingness to step down from the position. He had conveyed this to prime minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the city last week, a statement from Raj Bhavan said on Monday.

While the opposition parties are quick to say that Koshyari should have been recalled by now, BJP claims he is setting an example for others to follow.

The Raj Bhavan statement said, “During the prime minister’s visit to Mumbai, I have conveyed to him my desire to be discharged from all political responsibilities as I want to get busy in reading, writing and other such activities for the rest of my life.”

“I can never forget the love and affection received from the people of Maharashtra in the last over three years,” Koshyari said, adding, “It was an absolute honour and privilege to serve as the Rajya Sevak or Rajyapal (governor) of a great state like Maharashtra – the land of saints, social reformers and valiant fighters.”

This is the second time the governor has expressed his unwillingness to continue in the position. Koshyari had on December 6 last year written to union home minister Amit Shah, seeking his “advice” on what to do next.

Reacting to Monday’s development, Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray said he should have been kicked out of the state by now.

“It is good that Koshyari sought to discharge himself from the governor’s position. In fact, he is the one who hates Maharashtra, and insulted our ideals, and he should have been kicked out of the state,” the former CM said.

Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole alleged that Koshyari had brought disgrace to the constitutional chair.

“He is holding a constitutional position but his actions are unconstitutional. He made defamatory statements against the ideals of Maharashtra such as Shivaji Maharaj… We have already demanded his removal and a complaint has also been sent to the President, Droupadi Murmu, but BJP tries to continue him in the position,” he claimed.

Ideally, Koshyari should have written to the president, NCP leader Amol Mitkari said. “It appears that he wants to create a picture that he is not interested in continuing as governor but the prime minister thinks differently.”

BJP, as usual, comes to the defence of Koshyari.

“We have seen many politicians who do not want to leave their positions irrespective of their age. But Koshyari wants to be relieved so that he can spend the rest of his life reading, writing among other such activities,” state forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said.

Koshyari’s stint as governor is riddled with controversies, inviting criticism from political parties and other outfits.

The latest was his remarks on Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji. At a function, he said that Shivaji was an old icon and Maharashtra had newer ones like Babasaheb Ambedkar and union minister Nitin Gadkari. His statement created a political storm, with two descendants of Shivaji – Udayanraje Bhonsale and Chhatrapati Sambhaji – even taking the matter to the PM and the President.

The opposition has been accusing Koshyari of acting in a partisan manner. A case in point was his decision to ask the then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to prove his majority within 24 hours after a split in the Shiv Sena and then immediately inviting Eknath Shinde to form the government.

Amarinder Singh and Prabhat Jha front runners

Political circles are abuzz with talks that Captain Amarinder Singh and Prabhat Jha are the front runners to replace Koshyari.

Captain, 80, is also the former chief minister of Punjab. “Going by his age and BJP’s constitution, he will not be allowed to remain part of active politics and the governor is the most suitable position going by his experience,” a senior BJP leader, wishing to remain anonymous, said.

BJP insiders also said Captain could be asked to take up governor’s position in either Maharashtra or Tamil Nadu.

Jha is a former Rajya Sabha member and BJP’s national vice president.

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