Nagpur: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Vinod Tawde has been appointed the new Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, replacing Pandurang Phundkar, a top party official said here Friday.
A formal announcement was made here by senior party leader Venkaiah Naidu after holding a meeting with party legislators, at which Phundkar was not present.
Tawde, 47, considered close to party president Nitin Gadkari, will take over from Phundkar - considered a loyalist of BJP Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde - Dec 23.
Phundkar has captained the BJP-led opposition in the upper house of teh state legislature for the past seven years.
In the legislative council, the opposition comprises 13 BJP members, nine Shiv Sena members and two Independents.
The decision to appoint Tawde, a skillful organiser and political strategist, was taken last month by the party leadership.
He represents the "youthful face" of the BJP in the state.
However, serious intra-party differences between the Gadkari and Munde camps resulted in the decision and the change of leadership being delayed, after the high command made it clear that Tawde`s appointment would not be "rolled back".