MVA leaders yet to take call on new Speaker

Congress aiming at retaining post

Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) leaders are yet to decide on the candidate to fill the vacant Maharashtra Assembly Speaker’s post, days after the former Speaker, Nana Patole, was appointed the new State Congress chief.

Sharad Pawar, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president, had told reporters in Delhi that the resignation of Mr. Patole had opened up negotiations on filling the Speaker’s post. “Now that he has resigned, the post will be open and we will decide on it in our meetings,” he had said.

Mr. Patole too said the top leaders of three parties would soon arrive at a decision. The Congress now seems headed for a series of negotiations to reclaim the post. “We will be discussing the matter within the party organisation. We are aware of the NCP president’s remarks. We will discuss the matter with all and I am sure that a solution will be reached,” said a member of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) and one of the officials in-charge of Maharashtra.

Contenders within the Congress include Tribal Affairs Minister K.C. Padvi, former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, and Congress MLA Sangram Thopate. “Many names are being discussed within the party. We do not want to comment on who will be the next Speaker,” said the AICC official.

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