Assembly Speaker's election to be real test for Fadnavis

Will determine whether Fadnavis continues as CM or not; BJP may opt for own candidate for pro-tem Speaker.

Mumbai: Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has given the deadline of November 30 for chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to prove his majority in the Vidhan Sabha, but he will have to show his actual strength on the floor of House before that. The election of the Assembly speaker, which will be carried out prior to the show of strength, will determine whether Mr Fadnavis will continue as the chief minister or not.

According to sources in the state legislature, now that the governor has asked Mr Fadnavis to form the government, the onus now falls on him to prove his majority within the stipulated time. To facilitate this, the governor will have to initiate the proceedings of Vidhan Sabha formation.

For this, a brief legislative session will be called, in which a pro tem speaker will be elected to administer the oath to all newly elected members of the House. The honour of being a pro tem speaker is normally given to the oldest member of the House.

Among the newly elected members, Congress’ Balasaheb Thorat is the oldest MLA. However, given the present delicate political situation, the BJP is unlikely to take the risk of making him the pro tem speaker and might opt for its own person at the helm, said sources.

After administering the oath to MLAs, the pro tem speaker will start the proceedings for the election of a speaker in the Vidhan Sabha. If there is a clear majority on either the ruling side or the Opposition, the speaker might be elected on just a voice vote. However, if a poll is being asked in case of an ambiguity, there will be voting, which will decide from whose party the speaker will be elected, the source added.

If Mr Fadnavis manages to clear the election, it will prove that he has enough numbers on his side, which will also enable him to win the vote of confidence on November 30. But if he fails, it will confirm that he doesn’t have a majority on his side and he will have to resign before facing the floor test, he said.

When asked, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik admitted that the speaker’s election would more crucial than even the floor test. “We will ensure that a single candidate is fielded from the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress combine to defeat the BJP in the poll,” he said.

Next Story