A day after the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pushed through a no-confidence motion against legislative council chairman Shivajirao Deshmukh, Ramraje Nimbalkar, a close aide of Sharad Pawar, has emerged as the favourite for the post.
While the NCP is yet to officially name its candidate, sources said the post is most likely to go to Nimbalkar. The others in the fray include Hemant Takle, Jaidev Gaikwad and elevating deputy chairman Vasant Davkhare.
Nimbalkar hails from the royal Nimbalkar family of Phaltan in western Maharashtra.
Nimbalkar has been a minister at various points in the Congress-NCP government. In its last term, he was the water resources minister and later, the minister for the Krishna Valley Development Corporation.
However, his accession to the chair may also see the NCP garnering support from the BJP. Nimbalkar’s party has 28 members, while it needs the support of at least 40 of the total 78 council members. The 12-member BJP may extend support and demand the post of the deputy chairman in the council.
Meanwhile, State NCP chief Sunil Tatkare said the Congress was to be blamed for Deshmukh’s ouster. “We have no truck with the BJP. However, the Congress with its stubbornness over the chair brought this fate upon itself.”