Mumbai, Feb 5 (PTI) The names of Congress MLAs Sangram Thopte and Suresh Warpudkar are doing rounds for the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker's post though the party has not discussed the issue yet, sources said on Friday.
The post fell vacant a month before the coming budget session as incumbent Nana Patole resigned and took over as state Congress chief on Thursday.
The Speaker's post is with the Congress which shares power in Maharashtra with the Shiv Sena and NCP.
The names of Sangram Thopte (MLA from Bhor)and Suresh Warpudkar (MLA from Pathri) are doing rounds as Patole's possible successor, Congress sources said.
'There has been no discussion within the party or within the alliance. The party is not in a hurry. The legislature session begins from March 1,' a party leader said.
'Thopte is among front-runners. He was to get a cabinet berth when the government was formed, but it did not happen. There is no cabinet minister from Western Maharashtra from the Congress,' the leader said.
Vishwajit Kadam and Satej Patil, two Congress ministers from the region, are ministers of state, he pointed out, saying that the party needed to fix this lacunae.
Warpudkar is the party's whip in the Assembly.
A media report had said that the Congress had expressed willingness to cede the Speaker's post to the Shiv Sena if it was given the deputy chief minister's post.
NCP leader and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, however, had denied that there was any such proposal. PTI MR KRK KRK