Maharashtra legislators can now hoist national flag

They had been demanding the right to hoist the tricolour on important days, arguing that if guardian ministers and bureaucrats are given this right, they, as elected representatives, should also be allowed this honour

After getting the government to hike their pension recently and then issue instructions to toll operators that they be respected at any cost, the state’s legislators sniffed yet another victory in the state legislature yesterday.

Legislators said that if guardian ministers and bureaucrats had the right to hoist flags, they, too, should be accorded the same honour. File pic for representation
Legislators said that if guardian ministers and bureaucrats had the right to hoist flags, they, too, should be accorded the same honour. File pic for representation

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis conceded to his counterparts’ demand that they be allowed to hoist the national flag to mark official celebrations on Independence Day, Republic Day and Maharashtra Day (May 1).

Legislators have been making a demand to this effect for many years. They argued that even as the guardian ministers and bureaucrats were given the right to hoist the national flag, they, being elected representatives, were denied the honour.

They wanted to be given the right to do the honours at the headquarters of their respective constituency. According to Fadnavis, the legislators would, henceforth, hoist the national flag in their tehsil headquarters. A notification to this effect would be issued very soon, he said.

However, the CM said that some issues needed to be sorted out before issuing the final directives to the administration. He said there could be more than one legislator in one tehsil (members of the Assembly and legislative council).

“We will try to split the days between the legislators if they are more in numbers in a particular tehsil,” Fadnavis told the Assembly. Maharashtra has 288 members in the Legislative Assembly and 78 members in the Legislative Council.

In the current system, the CM hoists the tricolour at Mantralaya and ministers enjoy the honour at the district places they look after as guardian ministers and also at the revenue divisional headquarters. They also inspect a guard of honour.

The governor, too, hoists the national flag at designated places on Maharashtra Day (May 1), Independence Day and Republic Day. The government announces the list of dignitaries accorded honour and their designated places a couple of days before the celebrations. The budget session of the Assembly shall end on April 10.

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