A reluctant Walse-Patil set to be new Speaker | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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A reluctant Walse-Patil set to be new Speaker

mumbai Updated: Nov 10, 2009 00:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Nationalist Congress Party leader Dilip Walse-Patil (53) is all set to become the new Speaker of the Assembly.

The former minister of energy, medical education and finance was dropped from the new Cabinet on Saturday and hence he was reluctant to take up the Speaker’s post.

He is reported to have told his party boss Sharad Pawar that he was not that senior to hold the office and added that he would like to continue as a Cabinet minister.

Walse-Patil represents Ambegaon Assembly segment in Pune district.

He accepted the offer on Monday, albeit unwillingly because turning it down would have meant an insult to his political mentor, Pawar.

His father, Dattatraya, was close to the Nationalist Congress Party chief and had earlier represented the same constituency.

Walse-Patil spent his formative years working as a personal secretary to Pawar before entering active politics two decades ago. When asked Patil chose to remain silent.

A senior NCP leader, who is in the know of things, told Hindustan Times on Monday that Walse-Patil would file papers on Tuesday. “Patil will get elected unopposed because the Shiv Sena-BJP has low strength,” he said requesting anonymity.

The Opposition is unlikely to field any candidate.

The deputy speaker’s post will go to the Congress. The party has not finalised the name yet and it is expected to elect the new man during the winter session next month at Nagpur.