Ahead of the floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly, there are reports coming in that BJP’s Kalidas Kolambkar is likely to be appointed as the Protem Speaker. Kolambkar, who was the Congress MLA from Wadala in Mumbai, had joined the BJP in July this year. Kolambkar, an eight-term lawmaker, was originally with the Shiv Sena before joining the Congress. The leader is seen is the likely candidate for the crucial post, which may change the course of event for the BJP during the floor test. Other names that are doing rounds for the appointment of the Protem Speaker are KC Padvi, Dilip Valse Patil, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Balasaheb Thorat and Babanrao Pachpute.
The chances of Balasaheb Thorat being appointed as Protem Speaker are bit low as the Maharashtra Congress has appointed him as the Legislative Party leader.
Kolambkar is considered a close aide of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Narayan Rane. In March, he had said that he would support those who work. Kolambkar had removed the party signboard outside his residence and put Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis's portrait instead. In April, he attended an NDA election rally and openly declared his plan to desert the grand old party.
"I am angry with the Congress party as no work could happen in my constituency. I will leave Congress and support those who work. I came here to listen to their speech. I used to come to Atal Bihari Vajpayee's speeches as well," Kolambkar had said.
Meanwhile, with the Supreme Court ordering floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly on Wednesday, all newly elected BJP MLAs in the state have been asked to reach Mumbai to attend a meeting to be addressed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis here on Tuesday evening, a party leader said. Along with its own 105 MLAs, the BJP has the support of "14 other legislators" from various smaller parties and Independents, the leader claimed.
The BJP also has the support of NCP's Ajit Pawar to meet its requirement of minimum 145 MLAs to prove majority in the 288-member House, he said, without elaborating.
The BJP earlier withdrew its claim to form government but in a dramatic turn of events, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as chief minister and NCP's Ajit Pawar as his deputy by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at a hush hush ceremony in Raj Bhavan early Saturday morning.