New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Rahul Narwekar was elected as the Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Sunday as the special session began after the formation of new Eknath Shinde government in the state.
Narwekar received a total of 164 votes in support and 107 against him. Soon after this, Narwekar took charge as the Speaker of Maharashtra Assembly amid chants of “Jai Bhavani, Jai Shivaji”, “Jai Sri Ram”, “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and “Vande Mataram”.
During the session, Samajwadi Party (SP) abstained from voting against the BJP candidate. Both its MLAs Abu Azmi and Raees Shaikh kept sitting during the head count.
Notably, AIMIM also abstained from voting against BJP’s Narwekar.
A total of three MLAs abstained from voting in the Assembly including AIMIM’s Shah Farukh Anwar, SP’s two MLAs while one AIMIM MLA was absent from the House.
In the two-day special session of the Assembly beginning Sunday, the Shinde-Fadnavis government will have to prove its majority on the Floor of the House on Monday in Vote of Confidence.
Notably, Shinde, who led the revolt against Shiv Sena chief and former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, was sworn in as the Chief Minister while former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis who was seen as the front-runner for the top post in the government, was sworn in as Shinde’s Deputy.
The MVA fielded Shiv Sena MLA Rajan Salvi as a candidate for the Speaker election while BJP MLA Rahul Narwekar was chosen as a candidate for the post of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker.
The post of the Speaker went vacant in the Assembly after Congress’ Nana Patole resigned from the office in February 2021, to take guard as the party’s state unit chief. In the absence of a Speaker, Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal was playing the part of an acting Speaker in the House.
Meanwhile, a day after the resignation of Thackeray from the chief ministerial post, Shinde and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and staked claim to form the government in the state.
Fadnavis, who was Chief Minister of Maharashtra from 2014-19, announced at a joint press conference in Mumbai on Thursday that he will not be part of the government. However, later, on the direction of the BJP’s central leadership, Fadnavis took oath as the Deputy CM.