As the two-day Monsoon Session of the Maharashtra Assembly began on Monday amid strict vigilance, Legislative Council Chairman Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar announced the election for the post of the Deputy Chairman will be held on Tuesday.
The post had fallen vacant after Shiv Sena’s Neelam Gorhe retired as a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) on April 24. She was however, re-elected as MLA in May.
Nimbalkar said that the nomination for the post should be filed before 4 pm with the state legislature secretariat and the scrutiny of nominations will take place at 5 pm today.
While the BJP initially expressed its opposition, it later said efforts should be made to make the polls unopposed.
“We had taken a stand that the deputy chairman poll should not be held in view of the pandemic. The elections of the co-operative bodies and the local bodies have been postponed. Today, we can see many members are not present in the House as they have tested positve for Covid, and will not be able to vote,” Pravin Darekar, Opposition leader in Legislative Council and BJP leader, said.
Responding to this, Nimbalkar said: “The Opposition leader had expressed his views in the Business Advisory Committee (of the state legislature). I had told him then that I have all rights to decide on when to hold the polls for the Deputy Chairman’s post. Everything has been discussed in the BAC. Though it is true that some members could not come as they have tested Covid positive, I feel that rather than postponing the polls and considering the pandemic, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar should make efforts to make the election unopposed.”
Pawar said: “Had he taken a reasonable stand, we could have made efforts to be in contact with the opposition. Now, I want to request the opposition that we are ready to sit together after the proceedings are over and to suggest a name for the post with everyone in agreement.”
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