- NCP's Dilip Patil replaced BJP's Kalidas Kolambkar as pro-tem Speaker
- "The new government is violating all rules," said BJP's Chandrakant Patil
- BJP-appointed temporary Speaker administered oath to MLAs on Wednesday
The BJP in Maharashtra said it may approach the Supreme Court against the appointment of a pro-tem or a temporary Speaker by the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance in the state assembly. Today's trust vote proceedings, which Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray sailed through, was conducted by temporary Speaker Dilip Walse Patil of the NCP. A permanent Speaker will be elected tomorrow.
Dilip Walse Patil replaced the BJP's Kalidas Kolambkar yesterday as the temporary Speaker for the two-day special assembly session that begins today.
The floor test began with high drama as the BJP members, led by former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, walked out just before voting.
"Never in the history of Maharashtra assembly, a trust vote was conducted without electing a Speaker. What was the fear this time?" Mr Fadnavis said. Responding to Mr Fadnavis, temporary Speaker Dilp Walse Patil said that the special session was being convened with the permission of Governor BS Koshyari and hence is not against the rules.
"They (Maha Vikas Aghadi) changed pro-tem Speaker from Kalidas Kolambkar to Dilip Walse Patil, this is legally wrong. The oath was also not taken as per rules. The new government is violating all rules. We are a filing petition with the Governor and might also approach the Supreme Court," BJP leader Chandrakant Patil said.
By convention, the seniormost MLA is usually appointed a pro-tem Speaker, though there has been a departure in the past. In the current assembly, state Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat is the seniormost MLA with eight terms behind him.
The BJP has nominated MLA Kisan S Kathore as its candidate for tomorrow's Speaker's election against Congress MLA Nana Patolem, the nominee of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance.
While Mr Kathore was elected from Thane near Mumbai, Mr Patole won from Bhandara.
"The post of Speaker will be filed by a nominee of the Congress party as per an agreement between the three parties (Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress). There is no confusion. The Congress sent a few names to us this morning and we have no objection to it," NCP leader Praful Patel told reporters this morning.
The new Speaker will announce the name of the Leader of Opposition.
On Tuesday, it was the BJP-nominated Speaker who administered the oath to all the MLAs during the swearing-in ceremony. It was a rare occasion when the House assembled for the session without the formation of a government and appointment of a Chief Minister.
Mr Thackeray, 59, heads an alliance of the Shiv Sena, Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress, also called Maha Vikas Aghadi. The alliance won the floor test with 169 votes, well above the half-way mark of 145 in the 288-member assembly. The three parties together have 154 MLAs. Some Independents and others like Bahujan Vikas Aghadi too backed the Uddhav Thackeray-led alliance. Four MLAs abstained from voting, the temporary Speaker said.