Cong picks Patole for Speaker post

Mumbai : The vocal Congress leader and an MLA from Sakoli in Bhandara district, Nana Patole on Saturday nominated for the Speaker’s post of the state Assembly.

Patole, who was the BJP Lok Sabha member from Gondia-Bhandara had resigned from the post and the membership of BJP in protest against the then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ “casual approach” to several issues, particularly farmers of the region and the style of functioning of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a couple of years ago. He then re-joined the Congress and contested from his home turf, Sakoli where he had defeated, Parinay Fuke, a close associate of Fadnavis in October elections.

Congress’s decision to nominate Patole could be an attempt to maintain a balance of power between various regions as most of the top NCP and Congress leaders hail from western Maharashtra.

Outgoing chief minister Fadnavis and Patole both hail from Vidarbha region, which in the past has seen many agitations for creation of a separate state comprising of districts in eastern Maharashtra. Hence, the Maha-Vikas Aghadi’s decision can be seen as a move to maintain both caste and regional balance. His nomination was hailed by the senior Congress and NCP leaders.