Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Friday said that the state government will provide a plane to Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to return to Mumbai if he desires so. The statement came a day after the Governor was forced to deboard a Maharashtra government aircraft at the Mumbai airport.
Trivendra Singh Rawat termed the treatment meted out to the Governor Koshyari at the Mumbai airport by the Maharashtra government as "misuse of power" and said, "A Governor is not an individual but the constitutional head of a state and representative of the President. Respect should be shown to his office as per the conventions in a democracy. He (Koshyari) will be given a state plane by the Uttarakhand government to return to Mumbai if he asks for it".
Bhagat Singh Koshyari had to deboard a Maharashtra government aircraft after sitting in it for about 20 minutes on Thursday when he was told there was no permission for the flight. He was coming to Dehradun on way to Mussoorie to attend an official function. Subsequently, Koshyari, a former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand and one of the senior-most BJP leaders from the state came to Dehradun in a scheduled commercial flight.
While the Shiv Sena said the government had followed all laid-down norms in disallowing the Governor to use the state-owned plane, the opposition BJP demanded an apology from the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) over the incident.
The BJP accused the MVA government of being "egoistic" and indulging in "childish acts". When asked about the incident, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said he had no clue. "I will take details on reaching the Mantralaya (state secretariat) and only then will be able to say anything," the Deputy Chief Minister said.
Meanwhile, former Maharashtra minister and senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said the MVA government should apologise for "insulting" the Governor. If the state government has purposefully denied permission, it is a "blot" on the state's reputation, he said.
"If this embarrassment is not intentional, then the state government should suspend the official who failed to issue the flying permission in time to the Governor," he said. "The government should apologise and avoid further escalation of the issue," Mungantiwar said.
Fadnavis alleged the state government has insulted a constitutional post. "It is an unfortunate incident. Such an incident had never happened in the state earlier. Governor is not a person, it is a designation. People come and go, but the designation stays," the former CM said.
(With PTI inputs)