BJP’s Rahul Narwekar elected Maharashtra Assembly Speaker

Mumbai: On expected lines, Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Rahul Narwekar was elected the new Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly here on Sunday.

He defeated his sole rival – the Maha Vikas Aghadi-backed Shiv Sena candidate Rajan Salvi – with a comfortable margin.

The elections were held by a division of votes on the first of the two-day Special Assembly Session ordered by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, last weekend.

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On June 4, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, supported by the BJP, will seek a ‘vote of confidence’ in the new government sworn in on June 30 after the collapse of the MVA government.

The Maharashtra Political Crisis

On June 21, the Shiv Sena party in Maharashtra woke up its biggest political turmoil when senior-most leader Eknath Shinde, along with other MLAs announced their disappointment with the party and reportedly decided to camp together in a hotel in Surat, Gujarat, ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), raising speculations that the latter might be involved in the present crisis.

As the crisis mounted, Maharastra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari asked for a floor test. As expected, the ruling Shiv Sena government could not prove its majority which ultimately led to the resignation of Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.

On June 30, Eknath Shinde and his rebel MLAs merged with the Bharatiya Janata Party and formed the new government. Eknath Shinde is elected as the Chief Minister for 2.5 years while Devendra Fednavis is appointed as his deputy.

Eknath Shinde, who took oath as Chief Minister on Thursday after leading the revolt in Shiv Sena that brought down the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA coalition government, has risen from the grassroots.

The journey to the top post has not been easy for the 58-year-old leader, who was born on February 9, 1964, in a poor family in the Satara district of Maharashtra. A hard worker, he took up various tasks including driving an auto-rickshaw and working in a factory to support his family.

Shinde joined the Shiv Sena in 1980 after being influenced by Bal Thackeray’s speeches and thoughts.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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