Says, resigned in the interest of people
Geetanjali Minhas | March 22, 2016 | Mumbai
Amidst the uproar in state legislature over demands for separate statehood for Marathwada region, Maharashtra advocate general Shrihari Aney who submitted his resignation to the governor on Tuesday said that ‘conflict of duty and institutional stability’ were the two reasons for his resignation.
“I firmly believe that the Advocate General is the first lawyer of the people of the state. The AG is not a government pleader. Based on this belief as Advocate General, I consider it my constitutional duty to place the interest of people above the interest of the governmental machinery. This was most visible in my arguments in matters concerning lack of development in Vidarbha, the insistence on the right of people of Marathwada to drinking water and the need for strongest governmental measures to tackle the issue of farmers suicides and the states’ agrarian crisis,” Aney said in a statement.
‘My submissions leading to withdrawal of the state’s resolution regarding sedition and the right of women to enter places of worship are further illustrations of placing the interest of the people uppermost. Such arguments might have caused discomfort to the state, but they did result in orders of the High Court which directly benefitted the neediest and most deprived sections of the public. In that I find complete vindication of the office of the Advocate General.”
Aney added that though his stand on Vidarbha’s statehood is well known, it became the reason for disruption of the state’s legislature for two weeks in the winter session.
“Once again a section of the honourable legislators have chosen to make this an issue to stall the present budget session. As a lawyer I am aware that the failure of the budget session has the result of fall of the ruling government. It would perhaps have been better if the legislators had deliberated over the problems that occasion the demand for statehood and made some attempt to solve them. Shooting the messenger does not solve the problem.”
“In the present disruption of the legislature I see a clear pattern. Since I shall not stop from voicing my demand for Vidharbha’s statehood and the legislators will not stop from using it as a ready excuse to stall the working of the legislature one of us has to step back. In keeping with my belief that the Advocate General’s prime function is to protect the interest of people and that the legislature must function interest of the people is to be protected my final act as Advocate General which would be most in the interest of the people of the state was to resign the post.”
On his speech at Jalna
On his Jalna speech, Aney clarified that he first declared support to Marathwada’s statehood cause over a month ago at a public function in Ahmadnagar and reiterated it three days ago at Jalna at a function organised by the Marathwada Mukti Morcha to give token assistance to widows of farmers who had committed suicide.
“My statements that Marathwada has suffered more than Vidarbha and that I support the demand for a separate Marathwada statehood were made in context with reply to two earlier speakers, Advocate Pradeep Deshmukh and Baba Ugale. Both speakers had expressed apprehension that Vidharbha was getting more funds while Marathwada was being neglected. Ugale also said that whereas Vidarbha would be given its statehood, Marathwada’s claim would be abandoned. I explained that both Vidarbha and Marathwada have been neglected by previous governments. If anything Marathwada suffers more. I pointed out that I have had to fight hard in courts to ensure that water was released for Marathwada and was still fighting for Vidhabha and Marthwada’s irrigation rights in the Aurangabad Bench and for farmers rights in the Bombay bench.”
The AG said that he has written elaborately about the Jalna speech in a separate post on face book.
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