Home > News > BS Koshyari aircraft row: Uddhav does what Digvijaya did to Bhai Mahavir 19 years ago | India News

BS Koshyari aircraft row: Uddhav does what Digvijaya did to Bhai Mahavir 19 years ago | India News


NEW DELHI: The denial of permission to Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for using the state aircraft to fly to Dehradun on Thursday triggered a row with the opposition BJP seeking apology from the Uddhav Thackeray government.
However, it is not for the first time that a governor has been given this treatment by a chief minister’s office (CMO).
Though the governors are constitutional heads of their respective states, they have to depend upon the chief minister’s offices for availing the official aircraft. Permitting the governors to use the aircraft depends upon the whims and fancies of the CMOs.
Maharashtra presents the latest example of this kind of a relationship between the respective offices of the governor and the CM. Though Koshyari’s office had requisitioned the state aircraft in advance, it was not just denied but he was not even informed about its non-availability till the last moment.
Consequently, he boarded the aircraft, only to be told that the permission had not been granted by the CMO. Koshyari later took a scheduled flight to reach Dehradun.
The same predicament was faced by the then governor of Madhya Pradesh (MP) Bhai Mahavir more than 19 years ago at the hands of former chief minister Digvijaya Singh’s office.
Mahavir would feel disappointed that Digvijaya Singh used the state chopper to attend both trivial and serious but did not spare it for him. The Raj Bhavan would be told by the CMO that Singh decided whether the helicopter could be made available for the governor.
Singh’s reply to any request from the Raj Bhavan used to be “Main bataunga “(will let you know), but the last word would not come till the last moment. Mahavir would be forced to miss official events besides facing embarrassment.
Despite the Raj Bhavan sending the requisition well in advance and giving repeated reminders, the CMO would keep it waiting only to finally inform that the chopper could not be spared.
Mahavir missed several events as he was informed about the non-availability of the aircraft at the last moment. He could not attend Madhavrao Sçindia’s funeral ceremony in Gwalior on October 4, 2001. Scindia had died in an air crash on September 30. Singh, who was in London on that day, had reportedly asked his officials to bring the helicopter to Delhi and keep it there.
The then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had attended the funeral ceremony. But Mahavir was deprived of attending the ceremony.
On an earlier occasion, Mahavir had to attend two functions on the same day. However, due to non-availability of the chopper, he cancelled the inauguration event of the Swadeshi Mela at Indore. He went by road to Sultanpur in Raisen district to inaugurate a Seva Bharti health check-up camp for the tribal villagers.
Anguished over the treatment being meted out to him by Digvijaya Singh, Mahavir is learnt to have told him that he had resolved not to use the chopper for the remaining 18 months of his tenure.
In Koshyari’s case, the Raj Bhavan secretariat and the state government indulged in blame game. A Raj Bhavan statement said the governor’s secretariat had written to the government authorities seeking permission for the use of the aircraft “well in advance” on February 2. It added that the CMO was also informed about it.
On its part, the Maharashtra government said the Raj Bhavan secretariat had been informed a day earlier by the CMO that approval for use of the official aircraft had not been given. It blamed the Raj Bhavan officials for the faux pas.
A statement from the CMO said the state government had taken serious cognisance of the matter. “The Raj Bhavan official did not confirm about the approval for use of the official plane and plan the Governor’s travel schedule. The Chief Minister has issued directives that responsibility be fixed on the Raj Bhavan official concerned after taking serious cognisance of the developments,” the CMO statement said.

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