NCP legislator and tribal leader Narhari Zirval on Saturday was elected unopposed as Deputy Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly after BJP nominee and former minister Dr Ashok Uike withdrew his nomination. Zirwal and Uike had filed their nominations on Friday as the withdrawal was slated for Saturday noon.
NCP during power sharing with Congress had staked the claim on the deputy speaker's post as during the bargaining it had left Assembly Speaker's post to the Congress party. By selecting Zirval, the NCP has given representation to the tribal community.
Zirval was elected from the Dindori assembly segment in the assembly elections held last year. He represented the Didori constituency in 2004 and also in 2014. He was defeated in 2009 elections by Shiv Sena nominee Dhanraj Mahale.
After NCP leader Ajit Pawar took the oath as deputy chief minister on November 23 last year, Zirwal was untraceable for few hours. NCP leadership swung into action and traced him in a hotel in Haryana. He was brought in Delhi and later in Mumbai. Thereafter, Zirwal had told the media that he was NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s loyalist and will continue to be in future too.