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Speaker of Maharashtra Assembly

Date: 30 December 2021 Tags: Bills & Laws

Issue

The Maharashtra government and the governor have been involved in a tussle over holding elections for assembly speaker.

 

Background

The governor is yet to give his assent to hold election to the post even as the Winter Session of the Assembly ends.

 

Details

The government is looking at various options to hold the elections to the post without the governor’s approval. However, it was unlikely to go ahead.

 

The need for elections

  • Post the election to state assembly, Nana Patole of the Congress was elected as the speaker. He resigned after he was named the state president of the party.

  • The government did not hold elections at that time even as the opposition pressed for holding the elections.

  • Recently, the cabinet decided to hold the elections during the winter session of the assembly and forwarded the request to the governor.

 

The elections to the speaker

  • The constitution says that Legislative Assembly of a State shall choose two members of the Assembly to be respectively Speaker and Deputy Speaker under Article 178.

  • It does not specify the timeframe other than to say the elections should be held “as soon as may be”. The process of holding elections is granted to the state legislatures.

 

Rules in other states

  • States like Haryana have specified time for holding elections. It says that the election of the Speaker must be held as soon as possible after the Assembly election, and the Deputy Speaker must be elected within another seven days.

  • Rules in Uttar Pradesh say that Speaker’s election is required to be held within 15 days if the post falls vacant during the term of the Assembly.

 

The amendment issue

  • The government had passed an amendment to replace the provision of election of the Speaker by “secret ballot” with “voice vote”.

  • The opposition says that making amendments without the presence of speaker was inappropriate and cannot be validated.