Maha guv seeks information from govt on speaker's election

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Mumbai, Feb 17 (PTI) Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has sought to know from the Shiv Sena-led MVA government when it plans to hold election for a new speaker of the legislative assembly, sources said on Wednesday.

The speaker's post is lying vacant after the incumbent Nana Patoleresigned earlier this month to take charge as the Maharashtra Congress president.

The sources told PTI that the law and judiciary secretary informed the cabinet about the enquiry made by the Raj Bhavan regarding the speaker's election.

The issue figured in the weekly cabinet meeting held on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, they said.

'The cabinet will convey to the governor when a decision is taken on the issue,' the sources said.

During the discussion, a minister quipped that the government should also enquire when Koshyari will approve the list of 12 names submitted to him for nomination to the legislative council from the governor's quota, they said.

A senior minister said a letter has been sent by the Raj Bhavan to the legislature secretariat, enquiring about the speaker's election.

'I haven't heard about the Raj Bhavan making enquiries about such things earlier. Anyway, we will communicate to him and get our speaker elected with bigger numbers (than last time),' he said.

The MVA government is comfortably placed in the 288- member assembly to get its candidate elected as speaker.

The simple majority mark in the house is 145 and the MVA constituents have more than 150 MLAs - Shiv Sena (56), NCP (54) and Congress (44).

The three-party alliance also enjoys the support of smaller parties and independents.

The budget session of the state legislature is scheduled to begin on March 1. PTI MR RSY RSY