Maha session begins; Sena says no talks on with BJP

Maha session begins; Sena says no talks on with BJP

Shiv Sena legislators today occupied Opposition benches as the special three-day session of Maharashtra Assembly began here during which Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will seek a trust vote as mandated by the Governor when he stakes claim to form the government.

Sena members, wearing saffron pheta (headgear) came to Legislative Assembly in a group and occupied the benches meant for Opposition, where their seating arrangement was made, in keeping with the norms for the second largest party in the 288-member House.

Earlier today, before the House proceedings began at 11 AM, Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao administered the oath as Protem Speaker to senior legislator Jeeva Pandu Gavit, at Raj Bhavan.

Gavit then administered the oath to newly elected members of the House. The process will continue tomorrow. On November 12, the last day of the session, election for the Speaker will be held.

Shiv Sena sources said that the party was likely to field its nominee for the post.

While senior Sena leader Neelam Gorhe told reporters at Legislative Assembly today that her party was at present not involved in any talks with BJP.

Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had yesterday announced that the party will sit in Opposition if BJP accepted NCP's support to win the trust vote.

Uddhav has given BJP two days to respond, before taking a final decision.

Senior Sena leader Diwakar Raote today said Sena MLAs will present a green skull cap to Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse for "espousing" the cause of Urdu language in Marathi medium schools.

Today was the first day as MLA for former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and education minister Vinod Tawde, who were earlier members of the Legislative Council.

While some members invoked God before taking oath, there was a member who said "Jai Vidarbha" while there was another who said "Namo" while taking oath.

The election for the state Assembly Speaker would take place on November 12. The voting would take place between noon and 3 PM, protem Speaker Jiva Pandu Gavit announced in the lower House.

The time for withdrawal of nomination is till 10 AM the same day, he said.

The protem Speaker also announced the panel of presiding members, which includes senior Congress leaders Surupsing Naik and Balasaheb Thorat and NCP leader Dilip Sopal.

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