With three days remaining for the ongoing budget session, the chances of election to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker are now thin. It was decided not to rush to conduct the speaker's election and wait for some time. The ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi, comprising Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress, on Sunday, at the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, cited that in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Madhya Pradesh, the assembly speaker’s post was lying vacant for 335 days and the election took place thereafter.
The state cabinet did not finalise the poll schedule, but decided not to show any haste, especially when few ministers and legislators are recovering from COVID-19. It was decided that, for the time being, Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirval and presiding officers, will chair the proceedings of the assembly.
A senior minister told the Free Press Journal, “The cabinet at its last meeting had authorised the CM to take a call on the speaker’s election. However, the issue was discussed today and it was decided that we should wait for some time and not hold the election in the remaining three days. The session will end on March 10.” He said, in Madhya Pradesh, the speaker’s election in the past took place after 335 days and it did not affect the proceedings of the house.
The speaker’s election is inevitable as the incumbent Nana Patole resigned last month and took over as the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president. The ruling MVA has claimed the support of 170 legislators against BJP with its 105 members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) and the support of about 15 independents and smaller parties in the 288 member assembly.