Published On : Tue, Mar 22nd, 2016

Shrihari Aney quits as Advocate General over Vidarbha row?

Nagpur: According to a senior BJP minister, Maharashtra’s advocate general, Shrihari Aney, who is under fire for his remarks supporting statehood for Vidarbha and Marathwada regions, has resigned from his post on Monday following a ruckus in both Houses of the state legislature over his comments. He submitted his resignation to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. However, Mr Fadnavis has still kept his resignation under wraps and has said that he would make a statement in the House on Tuesday.

Mr Fadnavis said that though he was also a supporter of separate statehood for Vidarbha, as the chief minister, he could not take such a stand. Similarly, Mr Aney could not take a stand on statehood for Vidarbha and Marathwada as he was advocate general of the state, Mr Fadnavis said. “Mr Aney can have his personal opinions (about a separate Vidarbha), but he cannot make such a statement,” Mr Fadnavis added.

Asked whether he would ask Mr Aney to step down, Mr Fadnavis refused to answer directly. “The A-G is supposed to speak in the high court in favour of the government. He should show restraint while expressing his personal views on public platforms,” said the CM.

Senior BJP minister and minister for revenue Eknath Khadse too said that Mr Aney’s stand was incorrect. “Our government will not support statehood, neither for Marathwada nor for Vidarbha,” he asserted.
Meanwhile, another senior BJP minister claimed that Mr Aney had been asked to resign following which, he had quit. “The CM will announce Mr Aney’s resignation on Tuesday in the Assembly House. We don’t want to carry his burden anymore,” he said.

Mr Khadse said that as Mr Aney had been appointed by the governor, he would have to submit his resignation to the governor.

The other way is for the House to decide to expel him from the post of Advocate General, where the resolution will have to be passed in both houses and will later be conveyed to the governor for his final approval.

Sources from Raj Bhavan said that till evening, Mr Aney was not called by the governor neither did Raj Bhavan receive his resignation. “Though the governor is the competent authority, only the governor can take a decision over the AG’s resignation. However, it is not necessary that the AG should resign only with the governor,” said a source, adding, “The A-G could submit his resignation to the CM, who will then forward it to the Governor.”

The source from Raj Bhavan said that as the session was going on, CM would announce whatever be the decision was about Mr Aney only in the House of the state legislature.