Maharashtra Speaker poll tomorrow, BJP seeks to elect Narvekar
The BJP is preparing to ensure that its Colaba MLA Rahul Narvekar is chosen as Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly in the election to be held on Sunday — and official recognition is granted to the rebel Shiv Sena group led by Eknath Shinde ahead of the trust vote to be held a day later.
Officials confirmed that Narvekar filed nomination papers for the Speaker’s post on Friday even as the special two-day session of the Assembly was convened from July 3 instead of July 2 as slotted earlier.
The dates were changed to provide time for members to reach Mumbai, sources said, adding that the rebel Sena MLAs are set to reach the city by Saturday. The Shiv Sena is likely to file its candidate’s nomination on Saturday.
“The Speaker of the House elections will be held on July 3. The nominations for the Speaker’s post will be accepted till 12 noon on July 2. The floor test will be conducted on July 4,” an official communique from the State Legislative Secretariat to MLAs said.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MLA Suresh Prabhu approached the Supreme Court, urging it to suspend the rebel MLAs who have been served notice for disqualification — and “restrain” them “from entering” the Assembly or “participating in any proceeding relating to the House till the final adjudication of the disqualification”.
The apex court will hear the plea on July 11 along with other pending pleas on the political situation in Maharashtra, including one from the rebels against the disqualification notice.
Narvekar, 45, joined the BJP in 2019 after a 15-year stint in the Shiv Sena followed by a few years in the NCP. He quit the Sena in 2014 after being denied a berth as an MLC in the State Legislative Council. He then joined the NCP and contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections unsuccessfully from Maval. He moved to the BJP ahead of the state elections later that year.
The BJP is the single largest party in the 287-member House with 106 MLAs, and expects its tally to go up to 123 with 17 MLAs from smaller parties and Independents. With the Shinde faction’s 50 MLAs, including 39 Sena rebels, the tally would further rise to 173, well past the halfway mark required.
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