Shiv Sena’s Neelam Gorhe becomes chairperson of Maharashtra legislative Council
Shiv Sena’s Neelam Gorhe was re-elected as the deputy chairperson of the Maharashtra legislative Council amid din in the House on Tuesday. Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) had fielded Gorhe, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had nominated Vijay Girkar.
The BJP, however, walked out of the proceedings after chairman Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar refused to defer the election as a petition filed by BJP in the Bombay high court (HC) was to be heard on Thursday. Nimbalkar announced the Gorhe was elected unanimously, as the BJP did not contest the poll carried out through voice votes. Gorhe was the deputy chairperson of the house in June 2019.
Leader of Opposition in the Council argued that his party has approached the HC, seeking a stay on the election as some of its MLCs have been infected by Covid-19 and they will be deprived of their fundamental right of voting given by the Constitution.
However, the legislative Council chairman refused to defer the poll and said, “The high court has not summoned me on the decision taken. You, the leader of opposition, are informing me about the decision of the High Court. Therefore, I will not accept the objection raised. Here, it is not the matter of one election or the rights of members as contended by you. The high court does not have jurisdiction over the internal proceedings of the House. Therefore, I will stick to my decision.”
BJP MLA and state party chief Chandrakant Patil wrote to Nimbalkar and expressed his disappointment and alleged “discrimination” that he acted “under pressure” to favour ally. “In the Chairman election held four years ago, we, who had never backed NCP, voted for you to get you elected as chairman. But you never cooperated with us, even though it was our government. However today you worked under pressure to discriminate against us.” He added, “Deputy chairperson election was held during a pandemic? While three BJP legislators could not attend as they were coronavirus positive, still election was held? Instead of 78 members, the House had 60 members, still, the election was held? The election was held while a petition was pending in the court? It is surprising.”