Maharashtra: Speaker’s exit puts BJP in action mode

Express News Service
MUMBAI:  Maharashtra’s political situation has turned volatile following Assembly speaker Nana Patole’s resignation on Thursday. Patole is tipped to be the president of the state Congress unit. The opposition BJP has rushed to marshal all its resources to once again garner support of many lawmakers to put the Maha Vikas Aghadi government led by Uddhav Thackeray on the mat. BJP’s leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis has hinted at the revival of “Operation Lotus” in Maharashtra, saying the BJP is the single largest party and has the capacity to turn the tables on the three-party coalition government.

State Congress chief Nana Patole“We are waiting for the right opportunity to strike,” said Fadnavis. A fter Patole’s resignation, there will be an election for the speaker’s post. After Shiv Sena, the NCP and Congress decided to form a post poll alliance, the Maha Vikas Aghadi’s strength in the Assembly rose to 173 in the 288-member Assembly. If the BJP is able to defeat the MVP’s speaker candidate, then it can claim that the government has lost the House majority. It will then demand the resignation of the chief minister.

Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana in its editorial appeared disappointed by Patole’s resignation, saying the Congress candidate has resigned within a year. It praised the outgoing state Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat whom Patole is set to replace.

“This is the internal matter of the Congress, but Thorat had rejuvenated the party, making it a part of the ruling alliance,” said Samana. N CP’s Jayant Patil said the Congress could have avoided the situation. Party chief Sharad Pawar has already said a meeting of the three alliance partners would decide the next speaker. However, he said: “Now, the window is open for all three parties.” He hinted at the possibility of his party and Shiv Sena getting an upper hand in choosing the Speaker.