NCP chief Sharad Pawar meets Maharashtra governorPTI | Mumbai | Updated: 25-05-2020 16:25 IST | Created: 25-05-2020 16:25 IST
NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Monday met with Maharashtra Governor B S Koshyari at Raj Bhavan here. The NCP claimed that the meeting took place on the invitation of the governor and no political issues came up for discussion.
Speaking to reporters after leaving Raj Bhavan, senior NCP leader Praful Patel said it was a courtesy meeting at the request of Koshyari. When asked whether Pawar and the governor discussed any political issues, Patel said, "It was a routine meeting between them. It was not about any particular political issue or topic".
However, the timing of the meeting is significant as it took place against the backdrop of strained relations between the Shiv Sena, which heads the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government of which the NCP is one of the key constituents, and the Raj Bhavan. Pawar was one of the key leaders from Maharashtra who had openly complained about Koshyari's "intervention" in the functioning of the state administration.
Recently, the governor had taken a strong objection to a letter written by state Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant to the University Grants Commission, recommending cancellation of final year university exams. In a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Koshyari had said that "not conducting the final year examinations by universities amounts to breach of UGC guidelines". He also asked Thackeray to issue suitable instructions to Samant for his "unwarranted intervention".
Earlier in the day, an editorial published in the Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' slammed the governor for being in favour of conducting final year university exams in the state, and said health of students cannot be put at risk amid the COVID- 19 crisis. The Sena had also expressed its displeasure with Raj Bhavan over "frequent meetings" between Opposition BJP and the governor.
Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis had recently complained to the governor about the "failure" of the Thackeray government in handling the COVID crisis. Last week, Thackeray, who heads the Sena, had skipped a meeting called by Koshyari to take stock of the situation.
Earlier, the Sena had criticised Koshyari when he did not act on the Maharashtra Cabinet's recommendation in April to nominate Uddhav Thackeray as member of the state Legislative Council from the governor's quota. Thackeray was eventually elected unopposed to the Upper House earlier this month.