BJP has picked up Rahul Narvekar as the candidate for Maharashtra assembly speaker. Election for the post, if needed, will be held on July 3, when a special two-day session of the Assembly, called to allow the new Eknath Shinde-led government to prove its majority, begins.
The opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance is yet to announce its candidate for the position, which has been lying vacant since Congress MLA Nana Patole resigned from the post in February last year.
Narvekar is the son-in-law of NCP leader Ramraje Nimbalkar, who is chairman of the Maharashtra Legislative Council, and had been earlier associated with the Sharad Pawar-led party and also the Shiv Sena.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat sought to know how Governor Koshyari can allow election of the Assembly speaker now when he had refused to give consent for the process earlier this year when the Shiv Sena-led MVA was in power. Talking to reporters, Thorat, who was a minister in the erstwhile MVA government, said a delegation of the then-ruling alliance had called on the Governor and requested him to allow holding of the Speaker’s election.
Thorat showed a Raj Bhavan letter dated March 15 this year rejecting the MVA government ‘a request to allow the Speaker election. The MVA government amended relevant rules in December 2021 and opted for open voting method (voice vote and show of hands instead of secret ballot) to elect Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Assembly.
The new rules were challenged by BJP MLA Girish Mahajan in the Bombay High Court, which dismissed his petition on March 9. Mahajan later approached the Supreme Court, where the issue is pending.
Maharashtra NCP president Jayant Patil said the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs will invite disqualification if they don’t vote in favour of the MVA candidate in the Speaker ‘s election. Patil said the three-party alliance, consisting of the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress, will put up a joint candidate for the post.
He said the opposition alliance will push for disqualification of rebel Shiv Sena members if they fail to vote in favour of the MVA candidate.
Referring to the Income Tax notice to NCP president Sharad Pawar, Patil said, “We came to know about the issue when Pawar spoke about it during a press conference in Pune. If the I-T had sought the details from the Election Commission regarding last four elections he contested, the department would have got their replies.” He said Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, who is facing ED questioning in a money laundering case, was innocent. .
With inputs from News18