Maharashtra BJP legislature party leader Devendra Fadnavis has been named as Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly. The announcement was made by Speaker Nana Patole made in the House. Patole said that the BJP is being accorded the status of opposition party in the Assembly and Fadnavis would be the new Leader of Opposition. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and ministers greeted former CM Fadnavis after Patole made the announcement.
Earlier in the day, Congress MLA Nana Patole was elected as Maharashtra Assembly Speaker. He was elected unopposed as the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Kisan Kathore took back his nomination just before the deadline. The deadline to withdraw the nomination was 10 am on Sunday.
The BJP withdrew its nomination as it has been tradition in the Maharashtra Assembly for the Speaker to be elected unopposed. Patole has been elected a day after Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance cleared a floor test. The floor test was conducted by pro-term Speaker Dilip Walse Patil of the NCP.
Praising Nanat Patole, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that the Speaker comes from a farmer’s family and he will give justice to everyone.
“Nana Patole has also come from a farmer family & I am very confident that he will give justice to everyone,” Thackeray said.
Commenting on it, BJP leader and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said they withdrew their candidate after request by other parties.
“We had nominated Kisan Kathore for the post of assembly speaker, but in all-party meeting, other parties requested us and it has been a tradition that speaker is appointed unopposed, so we accepted the request and withdrew our candidate's name,” Fadnavis said.
Both Patole and Kathore are in their fourth term as MLA. Patole, who was with the Congress earlier, quit the party and won 2014 Lok Sabha election on the BJP's ticket. However, he quit the BJP following differences with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in December 2017, and returned to the Congress.
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