Maharashtra government plans to hold presidential election, seeks governor’s permission

New Delhi: Even as the Maharashtra government plans to hold elections for the Speaker of the Assembly on Tuesday, a delegation of MVA ministers met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and asked him to discuss the election schedule recommended by the state cabinet for the post of Speaker. requested for approval.

After the meeting, the MVA leaders said they expected the governor to approve the election schedule.

Sources said the cabinet on Friday decided to hold the election of the Speaker on December 28 and accordingly the Governor was informed. Sources said that the Governor will have to inform the election schedule for the post of Speaker, after which the election will be held.

The post of the Speaker fell vacant after the resignation of the then President Nana Patole in February. After this, Patole was appointed as the state president of the Congress.

“The schedule for the election of the Speaker of the Assembly has been given to the Governor with the recommendation of the Chief Minister. We met him and requested him to announce the election schedule tomorrow. He was accompanied by Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde and NCP minister Chhagan Bhujbal.

The meeting comes days after the Assembly’s Rules Committee amended the procedure for the Speaker’s election through voice vote instead of secret ballot. The opposition had objected to the MVA government, describing it as the “most insecure government”.

Thorat said the governor did not ask much about changes in the election process for the Speaker. “The change in rules has been done on the lines of rules in Lok Sabha and Legislative Council. So we haven’t done anything wrong. The governor wants to study it and consult some people and then he said he will inform (us). We are sure that the governor will approve the programme.”

Thorat also said that the Congress leadership has not finalized the name for the post of president. However, senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan, who reached Delhi to meet the party high command on Sunday, is leading the way for this post. Sources said that the second name is of Sangram Thopte.

Shinde said the delegation responded to the Governor’s earlier letter sent by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urging the government to hold elections for the post of Speaker. “As per the rules, we have demanded that this election be held in the next two days. The governor seemed positive about it. He said that he will discuss the matter legally and will inform the decision tomorrow.

In July, the governor had written to the chief minister, citing demands of a BJP delegation led by Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, seeking immediate steps to fill the post and other issues. In response, Thackeray had said that there is no specific time limit for holding elections for the Speaker of the Assembly and the election will be held at an appropriate time.

Besides, the governor is yet to decide on the list of 12 names recommended by the state cabinet to be nominated to the upper house of the legislature through the governor’s quota. The list was submitted to the Governor by a delegation of MVA ministers on November 6, 2020.