Mumbai: Senior Congress MLA Nana Patole on Saturday filed his nomination for the speaker's post as the joint candidate of Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA). He will take on BJP's Kisan Kathore in Sunday's election.
Considering that the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government won the vote of confidence by securing 169 votes, the election is likely to be a cakewalk for Mr Patole.
However, unlike the floor test, which was held by open ballot, the voting for speaker's election will be held through a secret ballot. As many as 169 MLAs in the 288-member Assembly voted in favour of the MVA government, while the BJP's 105 MLAs staged a walkout.
Mr Patole represents Sakoli Assembly segment in Vidarbha. Earlier, there were reports that the Congress did not want the post and instead insisted on the post of deputy chief minister's position. However, all speculations were laid to rest after the party on Saturday announced Mr Patole as the candidate for the election of Speaker.
“Nana Patole will be our candidate for the Speaker's election,” said senior Congress leader Manikrao Thakre.
Meanwhile, state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil announced Mr Kathore, who represents Murbad seat in Thane district, as the Opposition's candidate for Sunday's election. Both Mr Patole and Mr Kathore are in their fourth term as MLA.
However, Mr Patole, a former MP, hoped he would be elected unopposed.
“They (the BJP) have the right in democracy (to field a candidate). But it has been a tradition that the speaker is elected unopposed. We hope that tradition continues,” the Congress leader said.