Walse Patil is new M'rashtra Speaker


Walse Patil’s tenure as the energy minister was quite lacklustre and he failed to rescue the state from frequent load shedding and power cuts. He was denied ministership in the new Cabinet.

On Tuesday, on the directive of the NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, Patil filed his nomination for the Speaker’s post. Under the power sharing pact with  the Congress, the speakership is with the NCP.

The opposition BJP-Shiv Sena fielded Girish Bapat, but he withdrew from the contest on Wednesday, paving way for unanimous election of Walse Patil.

Political observers believe that the step was taken to ensure that the Deputy Speaker’s post goes to the opposition without any trouble. In the last  two terms, both the speaker and deputy speaker were from the ruling coalition, as the opposition had forced elections and created unruly scenes.

Leader of Opposition

In another development as a fallout of the changed arithmetic in the assembly, the prestigious post of Leader of Opposition has gone to the BJP, which has 46 legislators as against Sena’s 44.

The Sena always had an upper hand over the BJP in numbers in the past, but last month’s elections saw the BJP emerging as the larger group in the assembly.

BJP floor leader Eknath Khadse’s name was announced in the House as the new Leader of Opposition, amidst cheers from all sides. Khadse was the finance and irrigation minister during the BJP-Sena rule between 1995-99.

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