BJP MLA Rahul Narvekar has been appointed the new Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly. With 164 votes, he defeated Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena candidate Rajan Salvi, who received only 107 votes. The 45-year-old is now the youngest ever Assembly Speaker in the country, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Sunday. 

The legislator from Mumbai’s Colaba Assembly constituency has been associated with the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party in the past. He was a spokesperson for the youth wing of Shiv Sena in early years. He quit the party in 2014, claiming the inaccessibility of party top brass prompted him to take the decision.

He then joined NCP in 2014 and contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Maval, losing to Shrirang Appa Barne of the Shiv Sena.

Also read: Uddhav Thackeray ousts Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde as ‘Shiv Sena leader’

He joined the BJP before the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly polls from Colaba. He won the Colaba Assembly seat, defeating Congress’ Ashok Jagtap.

His father-in-law Ramraje Naik of NCP is the chairperson of the Legislative Council. With his election as the Speaker, Maharashtra became the only state in the country where the presiding officers of the Legislature are in-laws. Narvekar’s brother Makarand is a corporator from Colaba.

 Also read: Eknath Shinde, rebel MLAs paid nearly Rs 70 lakh for a week’s stay at Guwahati hotel

The post of Assembly Speaker had been lying vacant since February this year when Nana Patole of Congress resigned to become his party’s state unit president. Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal was acting as the Speaker.

Also read: Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde slams rebel MLAs over their dance at Goa hotel

The two-day special session of the 288-member House got underway Sunday at 11 am. With the speaker being elected, the four-day-old Shiv Sena-BJP government will face the floor test on Monday.