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Congress wants Speaker's post in Maharashtra

mumbai Updated: Oct 24, 2009 17:39 IST

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Riding high on electoral success, Congress, which won 20 seats more than the NCP, now wants its ally to surrender the Assembly Speaker's post.

NCP's Krishnarao Rakhamajirao Desai alias BabasahebKupekar is the Speaker, a post that has been with the party since 1999 when the ruling alliance came to power.

"Senior Congress leader Vilas Patil Undalkar may be the party's choice for the Speaker's post," Congress sources told PTI.

"He will either be made Speaker or a Cabinet minister," they said.

Since 1999, when the Congress-NCP alliance snatched power from the Shiv Sena-BJP regime, the Speaker's post has been with the NCP. The logic was that NCP had won more seats but 'sacrificed' the chief minister's post and in return, it should have got the Speaker's post and additional portfolios.

In 2004, NCP won 71 seats, conceded the Chief Minister's post to Congress which had won 69 seats and in return got 24 ministerial berths out of 42. The Congress was left with only 18 ministries.

NCP may propose Finance Minister Dilip Valse Patil for the Speaker's post, the sources added.