Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Nana Patole on Thursday stepped down from his post, handing over his resignation letter to Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal. Patole is likely to be the next Maharashtra Congress chief.
Patole, the MLA from Sakoli in Bhandara district, is likely to replace revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat as state Congress president soon, according to party sources. The Congress shares power with the Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party in Maharashtra.
A delegation of Congress ministers, headed by Balasaheb Thorat, had recently met the party leadership in Delhi. Patole had also met former party chief Rahul Gandhi in Delhi. His name had been doing the rounds for the post of the state Congress president and he had been lobbying for a meaty portfolio as well.
Patole, who was part of the Congress, had later joined the BJP as was elected as an MP in 2014 from Bhandara-Gondia constituency. He later returned to the Congress and was made Speaker when the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition formed the government last year.
The budget session of the state legislature is to begin from March 1.