Mumbai: NCP nominee Ramraje Nimbalkar was today unanimously elected as the Legislative Council Chairman, even as the Congress and Shiv Sena withdrew their candidates from the fray. The Congress had fielded party loyalist Sharad Ranpise while the Sena had nominated its spokesperson Neelam Gorhe. As soon as the Question Hour got over, Deputy Speaker Vasant Davkhare called for the motion to nominate candidates for the election to the Chairman of the Council.
Ramhari Rupankar and Anandrao Patil had proposed Sharad Ranpise’s name for the post but later withdrew their proposal. Similarly, Anil Parab withdrew Shiv Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe’s nomination. Jaidev Gaikwad (NCP), had proposed Nimbalkar’s name and he was seconded by NCP’s Hemant Takle. According to the procedure of the House, it became mandatory to check whether anybody in the House opposes the motion and accordingly Davkare called for a voice vote.
Since there were no “No”s, Nimbalkar was unanimously declared as the new Chairman of the Council. Nimbalkar, who hails from the royal Nimbalkar family of Phaltan in western Maharashtra, has been a minister at various points in the Congress-NCP government.
The NCP has 28 members in the Council, followed by the Congress that has a strength of 21. The BJP has 12, while the Shiv Sena has 7 members in the upper House. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, while speaking in the Council expressed confidence that Nimbalkar has the patience required to lead the Council.
“Democracy consists of collective wisdom. A Chairman does not belong to a particular political party, but to the House. I’m sure Ramraje Nimbalkar has the patience and all the qualities required to lead the House,” Fadnavis said. Sena leader Neelam Gorhe informed the House that party chief Uddhav Thackeray and Fadnavis spoke over the phone, after which withdrawal of Sena’s nomination was decided upon.
“Uddhav ji had first asked me to fill up the candidature for the post. He then spoke to the CM after which we decided to take our nomination back,” Gorhe said.