Four-time Congress MLA Madhukarrao Chavan was today elected unopposed as the new Deputy Speaker of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.
Speaker Dilip Walse Patil announced Chavan's election after Shiv Sena's Suryakant Dalvi, the only other candidate in the fray, withdrew from the race.
Members cutting across party lines greeted the new Deputy Speaker by thumping of desks.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, his Deputy Chhagan Bhujbal, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshwardhan Patil, Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse and others escorted Chavan to his chair.
The Chief Minister complimented the MLA from Tuljapur in Osmanabad district on his election and hoped his rich experience in political life will help in conducting the House's proceedings in a smooth manner.
Chavan rose from Panchayat Samiti-level and went on to become an MLA and also served as Chairman of Marathwada Statutory Development Board, the Chief Minister said.
Bhujbal, Khadse, Shiv Sena Group leader Subhash Desai, his MNS counterpart Bala Nandgaonkar, Ganpatrao Deshmukh (PWP) Madhukar Pichad (NCP), Abu Azmi (SP) and Dalvi spoke on the occasion.
Chavan thanked members from both treasury and Opposition benches for electing him unopposed.