New Delhi: With the Supreme Court ordering a floor test on Wednesday (November 27) in Maharashtra, a key question now is who will be the pro-tem speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.
As per the conventions, the seniormost MLA is usually appointed the pro-tem speaker. In the current Assembly, state Congress president Balasaheb Thorat is the seniormost MLA with eight terms behind him, but BJP's Babanrao Pachpute and Kalidas Kolambkar can also be in line. While other senior leaders who are likely to in the fray are - Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil (BJP), KC Padvi and Dilip Walse-Patil (Congress).
On Wednesday, ahead of the floor test, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari will be required to appoint and swear-in the pro-tem speaker, who will then administer the oath of office to all the newly-elected MLAs. This will be followed by a one-line whip about the floor test and then the voting will take place. There will be no secret ballot and the entire process has to be completed before 5 pm. The entire proceeding will be telecast live.
In the last Assembly, the seniormost nine-time elected MLA Sangole (Solapur), Ganpatrao Deshmukh had declined the post of pro-tem speaker on health grounds after which, the second seniormost member, Jiva Pandu Gavit, a seven-time MLA of the CPI(M), was appointed.
Maharashtra is witnessing a bitter power tussle between the major political parties after the election results were announced in October. BJP and Shiv Sena broke-up after the former party rejected the other's demand of a 50:50 government. Then, when Sena had almost finalised a deal with Congress and NCP on forming a government in Maharashtra, the BJP's Devendra Fadnavis took oath as Maharashtra CM and NCP leader Ajit Pawar was made his deputy. The move came as a big blow to the newly-formed alliance between the three parties as NCP leader Ajit Pawar ditched his party to join hands with the BJP.
This move of the BJP prompted NCP-Congress-Sena to move Supreme Court and they filed a joint plea against Governor Koshyari's decision to invite BJP to form government in Maharashtra.
(With IANS inputs)