Maharashtra Legislative Assembly (vidhan Bhavan)
Maharashtra Legislative Assembly (vidhan Bhavan)

Finally, the suspense is over pertaining to the elections to the post of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker during the two-day monsoon session of the state legislature slated for July 5 and July 6. The Maha Vikas Aghadi partners Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress, on Wednesday, decided to hold the election on July 6. The poll schedule will be announced on the first day of the monsoon session on July 5.

This was finalised at the meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and attended by Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil, Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat and Legislative Affairs Minister Anil Parab.

The MVA partners had already submitted a letter to the deputy speaker to fix the poll schedule. Congress will retain the speaker’s post, which has been lying vacant since the incumbent Nana Patole resigned and took over as the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president.

Tribal Development Minister KC Padvi and Congress legislator Sangram Thopte from the Bhor assembly constituency are strong contenders for the speaker’s post. Congress in-charge of Maharashtra HK Patil and other party observers will be in Mumbai to interact with the legislators to know their views on the nominees. Patole said the formal announcement of the nominations will be made on July 5.

MVA is confident to win the speaker’s post, as the ruling partners claim the support of at least 170 legislators, which exceeds the half halfway mark of 144 in the 288 member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 106 legislators and they claim to have the support of more than 10 independents and other parties.

NCP chief spokesman and Minister of Minority Affair Nawab Malik said that MVA will comfortably win the speaker’s election. Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis had raised a demand with the Governor BS Koshyari over the election.

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