Senior Congress leader Nana Falgunrao Patole, MLA from the Sakoli Assembly constituency in Vidarbha, has been declared elected unopposed as the 14th Speaker of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, on Sunday, December 1.
Pro-Tem Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil made the announcement that was greeted with applause and thumping of desks by both the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (the Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena alliance) and the Opposition.
The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party withdrew its nominee, Kisan Kathore, from the contest for the post, according to state party chief Chandrakant Patil.
Patole was the candidate of the ruling Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) which won the vote of confidence in the assembly on Saturday afternoon with 169 votes with none against as the BJP staged a walkout.
Soon after Patole's election was announced, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and other leaders of MVA congratulated him and recalled his glowing contributions as a parliamentarian and legislator in Maharashtra for over two decades.
Others who spoke included Congress Legislature Party Leader Balasaheb Thorat, Nationalist Congress Legislature Party Leader Jayant Patil and Shiv Sena's senior leader Eknath Shinde among many more.
The next major appointment pending is that of the critical post of Leader of Opposition, which is likely to be announced in due course.
Patole, formerly with NDA, had defeated NCP heavyweight Praful Patel in the 2014 Lok Sabha election by almost 1.5 lakh votes. He resigned from the BJP in 2017 and joined the Congress in 2018.