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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Maharashtra govt defers Speaker election; Governor’s post has to be respected: Dy CM

The Speaker's post has been vacant since February, when Nana Patole stepped down. Subsequently, he was appointed state president of the Congress.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: December 29, 2021 7:58:20 am
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The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government on Tuesday stepped back from an outright confrontation with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and postponed the election for the Speaker’s post as it might have been legally challenged.

However, the state legislature passed a Bill curtailing the powers of the Governor in the appointment of vice-chancellors in universities.

Sources said that while the government was keen on holding the election for Speaker on the last day of the winter session, MVA leaders on Tuesday morning decided not to go ahead with it after a letter was received from the Governor.

The sources said the government explored legal options available to it, but many were of the view that if the government proceeded with the election as planned, it was likely to be challenged legally in the absence of the Governor’s assent. There was consensus that the election be deferred to avoid legal tangles.

Briefing the media after the conclusion of the winter session, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said, “The Governor’s post is an important one and it has to be respected by all of us. We made a conscious decision and did not want to act against the Constitution. We will have a budget session on February 28 and we will have elections then. Till then, we will have another meeting with the Governor because discussion at times can be fruitful.”

State Congress president Nana Patole said the Governor should respect the constitutional position and not play politics on the issue. “The Governor was sent a letter informing him about the entire process to be followed for the Speaker elections. The government had taken care that the Governor’s post is not disrespected. The entire election process could have been completed in one day, but on the last day of the session, the governor sent a letter again. To avoid any legal issues, the MVA government avoided holding the Speaker’s election in this session,” said Patole.

The Speaker’s post has been vacant since February, when Patole stepped down. Subsequently, he was appointed state president of the Congress.

Last week, amendments were made by the rules committee of the state legislature to conduct the election for the Speaker through voice vote instead of secret ballot. Subsequently, the government planned to hold the election on December 28.

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