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Maharashtra 'denies' Guv Koshyari permission to use State aircraft
While the Raj Bhavan claims permission to use the State aircraft was sought early on February 2 and the purpose was not personal, there are several discrepancies in the versions given by both the sides.

MUMBAI, Feb 11: A huge controversy has erupted over Maharashtra Government's denial of permission to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to use the State aircraft to visit Uttarakhand, his home State, on Thursday morning.

While the State Government claims that the visit looked personal as he belongs to Uttarakhand and the request followed the flash flood tragedy there, the Raj Bhavan asserts that the requisition was made much earlier on February 2 and it was an official trip to address an induction programme of the IAS trainee officers at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie.

(It appears that there are several discrepancies in the versions given by both the sides.)

The Government has clarified that grant of permission to use State aircraft is governed by a set of rules and the Governor's request did not comply with those and Koshiari and his entourage occupied the aircraft on Thursday morning without the necessary permission.

When the Governor boarded the plane, he was informed that there was no permission for the flight. Thereupon, he took a commercial flight.

An official statement from the Governor's office said, "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 Governor, well in advance on February 2. The office of the Chief Minister was also informed."

"Tickets for Dehradun were booked for the Governor on a commercial aircraft leaving Mumbai at 12:15 pm on Thursday immediately and accordingly, he left for Dehradun," the statement said.

However, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, "According to the information I have received, he is going to Chamoli in Uttarakhand. One who is on a constitutional post cannot use a government plane on a personal visit. If a person sitting in a constitutional post goes on his personal journey then he should not use the government plane, he should use commercial flight for his personal trips."

Meanwhile, Congress leader Nana Patole had said on Wednesday that the Governor had not so far made the appointments of 12 nominated members to the Legislative Council recommended by the Government in November last. The Government has now decided to move the court, he said.

In yet another dispute, last year there was a confrontation between the Governor and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray when the former asked Thackeray to reopen places of worship during the coronavirus pandemic.

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