Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday put to rest speculations over the speaker’s post in Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha (Legislative Assembly) saying the post will remain with the Congress only. The three constituents of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) have decided that the next speaker will be from the Congress party, he said.
Ever since senior Shiv Sena MLA Bhaskar Jadhav, acting as a presiding officer, suspended 12 BJP MLAs on the charges of unruly behaviour in Vidhan Sabha in the recently concluded monsoon session of the State Legislature, there have been talks of Sena interested in holding the speaker’s post by giving the forest minister’s post from its quota to the Congress.
However, Mr Pawar made it clear that the speaker’s post belongs to Congress. “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 Congress decides about the speaker,” he said at Baramati in Pune.
In the power-sharing agreement within the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Government, the speaker’s post has been allotted to the Congress. However, Mr Jadhav has said he would be happy to become the speaker of Vidhan Sabha if given a responsibility. In the Shiv Sena circles too, there are talks that the party should give up its vacant forest minister’s post to Congress in exchange of the Speaker’s post.
Senior Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat has said the Congress will not give up the speaker’s post. “There are no plans to allocate the speaker’s post to Shiv Sena. There are several leaders in our party, who will do the job well. An able leader will be asked to hold the reigns,” he has said.
The speaker’s post has been lying vacant since the resignation of Nana Patole, who has been made the state party chief by the Congress. The forest minister’s post is also vacant after Sanjay Rathod from Shiv Sena had resigned early this year in connection with the death of a social media star.