The Congress on Saturday announced party MLA Nana Patole as the candidate of the ruling Shiv Sena-Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance for the election for Maharashtra Assembly Speaker's post, while the Bharatiya Janata Party named Kisan Kathore as its nominee.
The election will be held on Sunday, a day after the ruling alliance cleared the floor test. As many as 169 MLAs in the 288-member Assembly voted in its favour, while the BJP's 105 MLAs staged a walkout.
"Nana Patole will be our candidate for the Speaker's election," Congress leader Manikrao Thakre said.
Patole represents Sakoli Assembly segment in Vidarbha.
State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said Kathore, party MLA from Murbad in Thane district, will be its candidate.
Patole hoped he would be elected unopposed.
"They (the BJP) have the right in democracy (to field a candidate). But it has been a tradition in Maharashtra that Speaker is elected unopposed. We hope that tradition continues," the Congress leader told reporters.
Both Patole and Kathore are in their fourth term as MLA.
Patole, who was with the Congress earlier, quit the party and won 2014 Lok Sabha election on the BJP's ticket.
However, he quit the BJP following differences with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in December 2017, and returned to the Congress.
Kathore was elected as Thane zilla parishad president in 2002. He became MLA for the first time in 2004 on NCP ticket from Ambernath in Thane district.
He went on to win 2009, 2014 and 2019 assembly elections from Murbad. He contested the 2014 and 2019 elections on BJP's ticket.
NCP MLA Dilip Walse Patil was on Friday appointed as pro-tem Speaker. He replaced BJP MLA Kalidas Kolambkar who was earlier this week appointed to the post.