Governor Koshyari denied use of VVIP aircraft

Maharashtra CMO clarifies that Governor’s office was informed on Wednesday that permission to use plane had not been given.

The already estranged relations between Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government stretched further after he was denied to use the VVIP aircraft on Thursday for his travel to Dehradun from Mumbai.

The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) clarified that the Governor’s Office was informed on Wednesday that permission to use the plane had not been given. “It was expected that the Governor will leave only after formal confirmation from the government. However, concerned officer did not confirm, resulting in honourable Governor not able to use the government aircraft,” said the CMO.

Koshyari under fire for delay in appointing 12 MLCs

Mr. Koshyari was scheduled to preside over the Official Programme of the Valedictory Function of the 122nd Induction Training Programme of IAS officers at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration at Mussoorie on Friday. He was scheduled to depart from Mumbai for Dehradun at 10.00 a.m. on Thursday.

“In preparation of the visit, the Governor’s Secretariat had written to Government of Maharashtra authorities seeking permission for the use of Government Aircraft by the Hon’ble Governor, well in advance on 2nd February 2021. The office of the Chief Minister was also informed. Today, on 11th February 2021, the Hon’ble Governor reached the CSIM Airport at 1000 hrs and boarded the government plane. However, the Hon’ble Governor was informed that the permission for the use of Government Aircraft had not been received,” said a release from Mr. Koshyari’s office. He left Mumbai after booking a commercial flight.

Continuation of tussle

The incident is seen as a continuation of the tussle between the two sides. Mr. Koshyari is yet to approve 12 names submitted by the Cabinet to him for appointment to the Legislative Council through the Governor’s quota. On Wednesday, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar warned that the government might take a legal route since the Governor was neither accepting the Cabinet’s proposal nor sending it back.

The government clarified that merely informing about the journey was not sufficient as it had to give sanction for the use of the VVIP aircraft, and in this case approval was not given. “The governor’s secretariat has not taken adequate precaution despite they being informed of no permission to use the aircraft. The government has taken a serious note of the incident and Chief Minister has directed to fix responsibility on the concerned official at the governor’s secretariat,” said the CMO.

The BJP slammed the government over the incident, with former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis calling it a government with massive ego.

State Congress president Nana Patole said the BJP had a habit of playing politics everywhere. “The government had informed about the non-availability of aircraft. The Governor was purposely taken there to play politics,” he stated.

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