Congress’ Prithviraj Chavan front-runner for Maharashtra Speaker

Prithviraj Chavan

Mumbai, Nov 27 : After the NCP conceded the Maharashtra Speaker’s position to the Congress, former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan is emerging as the front-runner for the post as he is the top choice of the party, sources said.

Having worked in the party organisation for a long time and serving as Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office in the UPA government, Chavan is a close confidante of Ahmed Patel, the top Sonia Gandhi aide.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi late on Wednesday decided that the coveted post of Speaker will go to the Congress and the Deputy Chief Minister’s post will be held by the Nationalist Congress Party, senior NCP leader Praful Patel said.

Additionally, the post of Deputy Speaker will also go to the NCP, he said. As per current information, there will be only one Deputy Chief Minister in the new government.

Besides, one or two legislators from the NCP and the Congress will take oath as ministers along with Chief Minister-designate Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday evening, Praful Patel said.

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, however, said that the exact number of legislators to be sworn-in from different parties will be decided later on Wednesday night and the complete picture will emerge on Thursday morning.

They were interacting with the media after a two-hour long meeting of Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress attended by Uddhav Thackeray, Sharad Pawar, Ahmed Patel and other senior leaders of the three parties to hammer out the issue of portfolios and details of the legislators from their respective parties to be sworn-in along with Thackeray.

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