Modi-baiter is Speaker

Mumbai: It was a walk over on Sunday for Congress leader Nana Patole, the lone Maharashtra Vikas Aaghadi nominee for the Speaker’s post, with the BJP getting cold feet and deciding not to contest, after their humiliating loss of face in the House trust vote.

What made the ignominious exit of BJP nominee Kisan Kathore even more shameful was that the BJP was conceding the match to Patole, who had resigned as a BJP member of the Lok Sabha in 2017, in protest against the ‘totalitarian’ working style of PM Modi.

According to sources, such was the consternation in the BJP camp after the rout in the trust vote, that some of them feared cross-voting in the Speaker’s election that would have added insult to injury.

Interestingly, Patole started his journey as a legislator in the Congress party in 1999; he walked out and joined the BJP in 2009. Thereafter, until 2014, he was a BJP legislator. In fact, in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, he had defeated NCP's strongman Praful Patel from Gondia constituency and earned the epithet of a "giant killer".

Frustrated at PM Modi's centralised style of working, he resigned from Lok Sabha on December 8, 2017 – even though a 2.5 year term remained. Patole had cited 14 reasons, including the increasing incidence of farm suicides, demonetisation and GST for his resignation.

After his resignation, a by-poll was held which was a prestige fight for both Modi and the BJP. To ensure a resounding defeat of the BJP candidate, instead of contesting, he supported NCP's official candidate Madhukar Kukde and ousted the saffron nominee.

Patole won his fourth term from Sakoli Assembly seat by defeating a close aide of