MVA delegation meets Governor Koshyari on Speaker poll

Maharashtra's MVA delegation meets Governor Koshyari on Speaker election

The Speaker post has been vacant for eight months

MVA delegation meets Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. Credit: Special Arrangement

A delegation of Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi called on Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to seek his approval for the election of Speaker of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.

The Speaker post has been vacant for eight months. 

The delegation consisted of Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat of the Congress, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal of the NCP and Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde of the Shiv Sena. 

The post of the Speaker has been vacant since February after Nana Patole resigned to take over as Maharashtra Congress President. 

Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal of the NCP is holding the fort officiating the Constitutional post. 

The name of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and three-term MLA from Bhor, Sangram Thopte is doing the rounds. 

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic and now the outbreak of Omicron, the MVA had scheduled only a week-long session, which was opposed by BJP and sought an extension. 

The Speaker’s election - by a voice vote - is expected to be held on Monday and Tuesday.

Thorat, who is also the leader of Congress Legislature Party, said that the delegation handed over a letter by Thackeray to the Governor.

According to him, the Governor had sought details of the amendment in legislative rules about holding the election through voice vote instead of the ballot. 

“The Governor has informed that he will discuss and seek more information from legal experts and convey his decision by Monday," Thorat said 

Shinde, who is a case aide of Thackeray, said the change in the procedure of holding the Speaker's election has been done as per rules and we are confident that the Governor will give his approval soon.

Notably, last week, Chavan tabled the suggestions of the Legislative Rules Committee of Assembly to conduct the Speaker’s election by voice vote instead of secret ballot. 

Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis lead the BJP protest against reducing the time frame allocated for objections and suggestions on the report of the Legislative Rules Committee from 10 days to one.

Fadnavis said, “The Supreme Court in its order had urged 12 MLAs who have been suspended in this House to submit an application to the (Deputy) Speaker to reconsider their suspension. As per the apex court’s directions, the 12 MLAs have submitted such an application to you. The session is going to end on the 28th. You want to conduct the Speaker's election. I urge you with all humility that you should give your verdict on the application of these 12 MLAs before the Speaker's election."

Both Shinde and Thorat said the Governor had not discussed the issue of suspending 12 BJP MLAs or the long-pending nomination of 12 members to the Legislative Council from the Governor's quota. 

It has been for over a year that Koshyari had kept the nominations of MLCs pending.

According to Article171(5) of the Constitution: “(5) The members to be nominated by the Governor under sub-clause (e) of clause (3) shall consist of persons having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as the following, namely: literature, science, art, co-operative movement and social service.” 

While the Governor has to go by the recommendations of the Cabinet, there is no deadline by which the Governor has to clear the nominations.

Check out latest videos from DH:

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox