Senior Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Haribhau Bagade was on Wednesday unanimously elected as the Speaker of the Maharashtra assembly.
Bagade's name was announced by Pro-tem Speaker Jiva Pandu Gavit in the newly-constituted Maharashtra legislative assembly.
Bagade, the MLA from Phulambhari in Aurangabad district, was escorted to the Speaker's chair by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar, Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde and senior most legislator Ganpatrao Deshmukh of the Peasants and Workers Party of India.
Fadnavis thanked all the parties for facilitating the unanimous election of the speaker in keeping with the highest traditions of the Lower House.
He described Bagade as a grass root worker and agriculturalist who held several important posts in the BJP as well as the Sena-BJP government in 1995.
Sena leader Eknath Shinde said the party decided to withdraw its candidate after the chief minister spoke to party chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Earlier, Congress candidate Varsha Gaikwad also withdrew her nomination for the speaker's post after former ally NCP declined to support her.