The state cabinet, on Sunday, authorised Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and prominent ministers from Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress to decide the schedule for the election to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly speaker. Thackeray, with allies, will decide whether or not to conduct the election during the budget session beginning March 1. The session will conclude on March 10.
The opposition had slammed the Maha Vikas Aghadi government for declaring the poll schedule, saying that it was scared about its own legislators. On the other hand, Legislative Affair Minister Anil Parab has denied the opposition’s charges and declared that the ruling alliance has the support of 170 legislators and it will be known in the voting.
The election is necessitated following the resignation of incumbent Nana Patole who has been appointed as the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president. Congress legislature party leader and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat has clearly said that the speaker post will be retained by the Congress. He, thereby, has scoffed reports that NCP or Shiv Sena may stake a claim on the speaker’s post.
Congress minister and veteran tribal leader KC Padvi and legislators Suresh Warpudkar, Sangram Thopte and Amin Patel are under party’s consideration for nomination in the speaker’s election.
A section of the MVA government, on Sunday, indicated that the polling will be held during the budget session, as it has got sufficient numbers. “Even though BJP fields its nominee and tries to lure some legislators from the ruling alliance, the MVA government is not worried,” said a senior minister.
On the other hand, few ministers and legislators want the speaker’s election to be held in the monsoon session. “During the budget session, the deputy speaker and presiding officers are capable of chairing the proceedings of the assembly,” another minister said.
Meanwhile, efforts are on for an unopposed election. The MVA government may open a dialogue with the opposition and, if they agree, an unopposed election will be possible.