Maharashtra Speaker’s Election Pushed Back To Avoid Confrontation: Report

Maharashtra Speaker’s Election Pushed Back To Avoid Confrontation: Report

Maharashtra government deferred its decision to hold the state Legislative Assembly Speaker’s election

Mumbai:

The Maharashtra government on Tuesday deferred its decision to hold the election of the state Legislative Assembly Speaker after a legal opinion that confrontation with the Raj Bhavan be avoided.

The election will be held in the next session of the state legislature, said a senior minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA – comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress) government.

Tuesday is the last day of the ongoing winter session of the legislature.

The Speaker’s post is lying vacant since February this year, after Nana Patole, who was elected to the constitutional position in end-2019, resigned to take charge as the state Congress chief.

On Tuesday, sources told news agency PTI that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray spoke to NCP president Sharad Pawar over phone to seek his opinion on the Raj Bhavan’s ‘refusal’ to give its nod for the Speaker’s election schedule.

“(Sharad) Pawar also spoke to Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni and later the MVA leaders met in the Vidhan Bhavan to discuss the government’s stand,” a source told news agency PTI.

The government wanted to hold the Speaker’s election during the ongoing session.

On Sunday, a delegation of MVA leaders met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari with a letter of CM Thackeray.

Mr Koshyari had later conveyed to the government that its amendment in the legislative rules of holding the Speaker’s election through voice vote instead of ballot was ‘unconstitutional’, and that he was checking its constitutional validity.

The MVA had responded by saying it was within its rights to amend the existing rules as per changing times.

The Shiv Sena-led MVA, which completed two years in power in November, enjoys majority in the 288-member House.

Notably, 12 MLAs of the BJP are under suspension for a year since the monsoon session in July this year for allegedly misbehaving with the presiding officer in the Speaker’s chamber On Monday, the state government had said it was firm on holding the election on Tuesday if the governor did not respond.

The MVA had said if the governor did not reply to its second letter, it would be considered as his consent.

But, Mr Koshyari replied on Tuesday morning, sources told PTI, without elaborating on contents of the letter.
 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Assam Press