The tussle between Maharashtra governor and the Uddhav Thackeray government was again out in the open on Thursday when Bhagat Singh Koshyari was denied permission to use the state government aircraft to fly to Dehradun.
The governor waited for over two hours at the Mumbai airport lounge, then 15 minutes in the aircraft before the captain informed him that the permission to fly had not been received yet, following which Koshyari booked a commercial flight to Uttarakhand.
Sources said that the governor's office had informed the government about the visit a week ago, and the permission not coming in yet was "quite unusual".
Reacting to the controversy, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said that he does not know whether the governor was given air service or not, but he will go to the Ministry to get the information.
A major war of words broke out between the Maharashtra governor and CM Thackeray last year in October over the reopening of places of worship in the state, which had been shut since March in the wake of lockdown following coronavirus. Koshyari had written a sarcasm-filled letter calling the chief minister a "votary of Hindutva who had turned secular".
Earlier in April, the governor had refused to accept the state cabinet's recommendation to nominate Thackeray to the state legislative Council. Thackeray was facing a constitutional issue as he had to get elected to either of the two houses of legislature within six months of swearing in as the CM.
Koshyari was often seen taking a tough stand on issues and differing with the state, sometimes even summoning officials. He refused to accept state's decision to not hold examinations for final-year students. He met actor Kangana Ranaut who complained to him against Sena-ruled civic body's move to demolish parts of her office. He also met a retired naval officer who was assaulted by Sena workers for circulating a post against CM on social media.