Maharashtra: Sena, Congress withdraw candidates for Speaker's post

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Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray
Mumbai, Nov 12: BJP legislator Haribhau Bagde is set to be elected unopposed as Speaker of Maharashtra Assembly after Shiv Sena and Congress candidates on Wednesday withdrew their nominations.

Congress candidate Varsha Gaikwad withdrew her nomination for the Speaker's post after former ally NCP declined to support her, party sources said.

Gaikwad had earlier met NCP chief Sharad Pawar to seek support for her candidature. Even state Congress president Manikrao Thakre had spoken to his NCP counterpart Sunil Tatkare seeking support for Gaikwad.

Congress MLAs Vijay Waddetiwar and Abdul Sattar earlier on Wednesday met NCP state president Tatkare to discuss the Speaker's election. However, Tatkare told the Congress legislators that his party will not support their candidate. On Sena's withdrawal of their nominee, senior party leader Ramdas Kadam said, "(Sena chief) Uddhavji has decided to support BJP candidate Haribhau Bagde for the Speaker's post.

Following Uddhavji's decision, we withdrew our candidate Vijay Auti." State Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had earlier appealed to the Congress and Sena to facilitate unopposed election of the Speaker in the 288-member House.


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