Mumbai: On Sunday, First-time BJP legislator Rahul Narwekar was elected as the new Maharashtra Assembly Speaker, days after Eknath Shinde took over as the chief minister and the BJP returned to power in the state. Narvekar, who polled 164 votes, defeated Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena candidate Rajan Salvi who got 107 votes. The post of Speaker was vacant since February last year after Nana Patole of Congress quit.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were among the other MLAs in the state Assembly who cast their votes. Narwekar had filed his nomination for the post of the speaker on July 2.
However, the Samajwadi Party (SP) abstained from voting against BJP candidate Narwekar. Both its MLAs, Abu Azmi and Raees Shaikh kept sitting during the head count. AIMIM MLAs also abstained from voting.
Who Is Rahul Narwekar?
Rahul Narvekar,45-years-old, comes from a political family. His father, Suresh Narvekar, was a municipal councillor from Colaba, and his brother Makarand Narvekar is currently serving as a municipal councillor from the same seat. Narvekar, is the son-in-law of prominent NCP figure Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar.
In his early years, he served as the Youth Wing of Shiv Sena’s spokesperson. 2014 saw him leave the party and join NCP. Narvekar stated that Uddhav Thackeray’s (the party’s senior brass) alleged inaccessibility was the reason he left the Sena. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Shiv Sena candidate Shrirang Appa Barne defeated Rahul Narvekar from Maval.
Before the 2019 Maharashtra assembly elections, Colaba native Narvekar switched to the BJP. He won the assembly seat with a margin of over 15,000 votes and defeated Ashok Jagtap of Congress.