Maha Vikas Aghadi candidate and Congress MLA Nana Patole has been elected as unopposed Speaker of Maharashtra Assembly as BJP candidate Kisan Kathore withdrew his nomination on Sunday. The deadline to withdraw the nomination was 10 am on Sunday.
The Congress yesterday announced party MLA Patole as the candidate of the ruling Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP alliance for the election to state Assembly Speaker's post, while the BJP named Kathore as its nominee.
However, the BJP candidate withdrew his nomination today.
Patole represents Sakoli Assembly segment in Vidarbha, while Kathore is from Murbad in Thane district. This is the fourth term as an MLA for both.
"BJP had nominated Kisan Kathore for the post of Maharashtra Assembly Speaker, yesterday. But, after incumbents' request, we have decided to withdraw Kathore's candidature," said Chandrakant Patil, Maharashtra BJP President.
Speaking to reporters, NCP's Chagan Bhujbal said, "Earlier, Opposition also filled the form for the post of Assembly Speaker, but after a request by other MLAs and to keep the dignity of Assembly intact, they have taken back the name. Now, the election of Speaker to happen unopposed."
The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government passed the floor test in the state Assembly on Saturday.
As many as 169 MLAs voted in favour of the motion of confidence, while zero against, four abstained and 105 BJP MLAs walked out during voting.
The proceedings for the floor test started with Congress leader Ashok Chavan moving the motion for the trust vote. NCP leader Nawab Malik and Shiv Sena's Sunil Prabhu seconded the proposal.
Before the floor test proceeding started, opposition MLAs also had staged a walkout from the Maharashtra Assembly in protest alleging that the special session was not convened as per rules.
Opposition MLAs raised slogans while the pro tem Speaker had requested them to remain seated for a head-count vote.
As soon as the Assembly session began, BJP members raised slogans of 'Jai Shree Ram' and 'Har Har Mahadev' in the House. Pro tem speaker Dilip Walse Patil had urged the members to maintain order in the House and allowed former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to speak.
Ahead of the floor test, Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress had issued a whip to their MLAs, directing them to remain present in the Assembly.
While Shiv Sena, the second-largest party in Maharashtra, has 56 MLAs, allies Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress have 54 and 44 legislators respectively in the state Assembly.
Uddhav Thackeray was sworn-in as the 18th chief minister on Thursday, three days after Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar stepped down as chief minister and deputy chief minister as they could not muster the requisite number of MLAs to prove majority in a Supreme Court-ordered floor test.
(With PTI Inputs)