NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday said the three constituents of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) have decided that the next speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly will be from the Congress party.
The post fell vacant after Congress MLA Nana Patole resigned in February this year to take over as the party’s Maharashtra unit president.
Speaking to reporters in Baramati city in Pune district, Pawar said, “The three parties (Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress) have decided that the new Speaker will be from the Congress party only. We all will support whatever the party (Congress) decides about the speaker (candidate)".
Recently, Maharashtra governor B S Koshyari had written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to take a call on filling the post of the speaker. However, the election of Speaker cannot be held during the recently concluded two-day monsoon session of the state legislature.
Replying to a question on the suspension of 12 MLAs of the BJP during the monsoon session for alleged misbehaviour, Pawar said, “They were suspended based on what happened in the Assembly. Nothing much to dig into it…It is done". The 12 MLAs were suspended for one year for allegedly misbehaving with the presiding officer in the chamber of the Assembly Speaker on July 5. Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis had alleged the move was aimed at reducing the number of BJP MLAs in the Lower House.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Pravin Darekar on Sunday said the saffron party will take a call on whether to field a candidate for the election of the Maharashtra Assembly speaker or to chalk out another strategy at an appropriate time.
Darekar also said that the induction of BJP leaders Narayan Rane and Kapil Patil into the Union cabinet will prove beneficial especially for the Konkan region of Maharashtra. Both Rane, a Rajya Sabha MP, and Patil, who represents the Bhiwandi Lok Sabha constituency, hail from the Konkan region. “Rane is inducted into the cabinet not because he is a Shiv Sena-baiter but for the development of the state," he said, adding the BJP is not a “narrow-minded" party.