BJP’s Narvekar wins Maharashtra Assembly Speaker’s election by 164 votes

As expected, Advocate Rahul Narvekar, an MLA from the newly ruling coalition partner Bharatiya Janata Party, was elected as the new Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly here on Sunday.

Narvekar secured 164 votes and defeated his lone rival in the 288-member House, the Maha Vikas Aghadi-backed Shiv Sena candidate Rajan Salvi, who secured 107 votes. Three members, including AIMIM’s Shah Farooq Anwar and two SP MLAs, abstained from voting, while one AIMIM legislator remained absent.

Subsequently, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, Congress President Nana Patole, Nationalist Congress Party’s Ajit Pawar and other senior leaders of various political parties elevated Narvekar to the coveted chair.

Later, in their speeches, Shinde, Fadnavis, Pawar congratulated and welcomed the new Speaker, and expressed hope that he would continue to carry forward the glorious legislative traditions and ensure smooth functioning of the House.

“Now a BJP-Shiv Sena government has taken charge based on the beliefs of Balasaheb Thackeray. Till today, we have seen that people move from opposition to government but this time the leader of the government went to the opposition,” Shinde said in his speech.

“I was a minister myself, many other ministers also left the government. It was a big deal for a common worker like me who was devoted to the ideology of Balasaheb Thackeray and Anand Dighe.

The elections were held by division of votes on the first day of the two-day special assembly session ordered by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari late last week.

On Monday, Chief Minister Eknath S Shinde, backed by the BJP, will seek a ‘confidence vote’ in the new government that will be sworn in on June 30 after the fall of the MVA government.

‘Youngest Assembly Speaker ever’

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that Narvekar (45) is the youngest ever Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the country.

The MLA from Mumbai’s Colaba constituency has been associated with Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party in the past. Narvekar, whose brother Makrand is a corporator from Colaba, was the spokesperson of Shiv Sena’s youth wing in its early years. He left that party and joined NCP in 2014.