By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, Dec 1
The Congress MLA Nana Patole, the nominee of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance, was elected unopposed as Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, since BJP nominee, Kisan Kathore withdrew his nomination minutes before the 10 AM deadline on Sunday.
Protem Speaker Dilip Walse Patil requested the opposition led by BJP, for consensus to elect the Speaker unanimously as per the tradition of the Maharashtra legislature and the BJP agreed to it.
The election of the speaker was to be held on Sunday, after the ruling Sena-Congress-NCP alliance cleared a floor test conducted by pro-tem Speaker Dilip Walse Patil of the NCP on Saturday.
Patole, 56, a four-time MLA, representing the Sakoli Assembly segment in Vidarbha region, was earlier with the Congress, but quit and contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls on a BJP ticket. He defeated NCP strongman Praful Patel from the Bhandara-Gondiya seat. However, in December 2017 he quit the BJP following differences with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and returned to the Congress.
After his election as the Speaker, Patole, announced the name of Fadnavis as the Leader of Opposition. He said that the BJP is being accorded the status of opposition party in the Assembly and Fadnavis would be the new Leader of Opposition. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and some ministers greeted Fadnavis, after announcement by Patole.
Later while speaking on a motion to congratulate Patole, Fadnavis said that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray should now fulfill his own earlier demand of Rs 25,000 per hectare to farmers for crop damages due to post-monsoon rains.
“Uddhav Thackeray, as leader of his party (Shiv Sena), while touring the state (last month, when he was not the chief minister) had demanded Rs 25,000 per hectare for farmers as assistance. I think he should ensure now that farmers get the assistance,” Fadnavis added.
Thackeray, Shiv Sena president was sworn in as chief minister, on Thursday last, after his party came together with the NCP and Congress to form government in the state. The three parties forged an alliance after the Sena fell out with pre-poll ally BJP over sharing the chief ministerial post.
Last month, when a bitter tussle between the Sena and BJP over government formation was on, Thackeray toured some areas where farmers suffered crop damages due to unseasonal post-monsoon rains this year.
That time Thackeray had dubbed the Rs 10,000 crore package announced by the then Fadnavis-led state government as inadequate and had demanded that the affected farmers be given Rs 25,000 per hectare as compensation.
Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]
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