The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) came together on Friday to elect senior NCP leader Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar the Chairman of the State Legislative Council for the second time.
The move is significant considering the removal of senior Congress leader Shivajirao Deshmukh from the Chairman’s post by the NCP, which moved a no-confidence motion against him with the help of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The state government convened a special session of the Upper House to elect the Chairman of the House ahead of the monsoon session commencing on July 18.
After concluding the oath- taking ceremony of the nine newly elected members, Nimbalkar was unanimously elected as Chairman.
Both, the Shiv Sena and the BJP too supported his candidature.
Senior Congress leader Manikrao Thakre moved the proposal which was seconded by state NCP president Sunil Tatkare.
The ruling parties are in minority in the upper house. Tatkare said he personally spoke to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to ensure the unanimous election of Nimbalkar.
Congress insiders said they were left with no choice but to support the NCP as going ahead alone would not help any of them.
“Despite so many differences between the BJP and the Shiv Sena, the two parties come together when needed. In such a scenario, opposition parties not unitng will not be a wise decision,” said a senior party MLA on the condition of anonymity.
State Congress president Ashok Chavan said that after the incident of Shivajirao Deshmukh’s removal, both parties had several discussions regarding elections to the legislative council.
“We have sorted out the issue and the leadership of the Congress and the NCP have reached an understanding,” Chavan told HT.
“Playing to their strengths, it was decided that the NCP will get the chairman’s post while the post of deputy chairman will be held by someone from the Congress,” added Chavan.