Shinde govt, MVA set for critical test in Speaker's poll today


Mumbai, July 3 : The first major legislature battle -- the election of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker -- between the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde government and the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi will be witnessed as the two-day Special Session of the House got underway here on Sunday. The Shinde-led government, which took office on June 30, has fielded its ally Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Rahul Narwekar while the MVA alliance has nominated Shiv Sena MLA Rajan Salvi for the crucial post. The Congress, which had its claim to the post in the previous regime, has given it up in favour of the Shiv Sena after holding discussions among the three allies, including the Nationalist Congress Party. The Shiv Sena legislators and rebels have been issued whips by their respective Chief Whips for the polls. On Saturday, the Congress had strongly objected to the Speaker' election on the basis of a letter by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari stating it could not be held due to a case pending in the court. "We don't understand the urgency to call a Special Assembly Session on Sunday. There is a case pending in the Supreme Court. When we were in the (MVA) government, the Governor kept telling us for months that since the matter is sub-judice, he cannot allow the Speaker elections. Then, how has he permitted it for the new government," Thorat demanded. BJP MLC Pravin Darekar has expressed confidence that given the numbers, the party nominee Narwekar will sail through the Speaker elections. Congress leader Nana Patole was the last Speaker, who was elected late in 2019 after the MVA government headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took over. However, Patole quit the post in February 2021 after he was appointed as the state Congress President and since then, NCP's Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal was officiating. /IANS


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