Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], July 3 (ANI): Ahead of the commencement of the Speaker election in the Maharashtra Assembly, BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar on Sunday called the Eknath Shinde side of Shiv Sena as "Shiv Sena of Balasaheb Thackeray's ideology" while calling the other side standing with the former chief minister as "Uddhav Thakeray faction".
Mungantiwar further said that no whip is implemented in the election of the Speaker.
The remarks of the BJP leader came ahead of the beginning of the first day of the two-day special Assembly session. The first day of the session will witness the Speaker's election.
"No whip is implemented in the election of Speaker so I appeal to all members to vote as per their conscience. Shiv Sena of Balasaheb Thackeray's ideology has given a whip and so has the Uddhav Thackeray faction. We have an alliance with Balasaheb's Shiv Sena," he said.
The BJP leader said that their candidate is expected to get nearly 170 votes.
"BJP candidate Rahul Narwekar's name will be proposed for the Speaker post. First, there'll be a voice vote. If someone asks for a division of votes then it'll be done and the elected Speaker will take charge. We expect our candidate to get 165-170 votes," Mungantiwar said.
Notably, the MVA has fielded Shiv Sena MLA Rajan Salvi as a candidate for the Speaker election while BJP MLA Rahul Narwekar has been chosen as a candidate for the post of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker.
The election of the Speaker for the Maharashtra Assembly is set to take place on Sunday after the new Eknath Shinde government took over following the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) rule in the state.
With the return of the MLAs, who echoed the revolt against Uddhav Thackeray along with their leader Shinde, to Mumbai from Goa on Saturday night, the stage is all set for political developments in Maharashtra to take place on the weekend.
In the two-day special session of the Assembly beginning Sunday, the Shinde-Fadnavis government will have to prove its majority on the Floor of the House on Monday in Vote of Confidence. Notably, Shinde, who led the revolt against Shiv Sena chief and former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, was sworn in as the Chief Minister while former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis who was seen as the front-runner for the top post in the government, was sworn in as Shinde's Deputy.
The post of the Speaker went vacant in the Assembly after Congress' Nana Patole resigned from the office in February 2021, to take guard as the party's state unit chief. In the absence of a Speaker, Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal was playing the part of an acting Speaker in the House.
Meanwhile, a day after the resignation of Thackeray from the chief ministerial post, Shinde and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and staked claim to form the government in the state.
Fadnavis, who was Chief Minister of Maharashtra from 2014-19, announced at a joint press conference in Mumbai on Thursday that he will not be part of the government. However, later, on the direction of the BJP's central leadership, Fadnavis took oath as the Deputy CM. (ANI)