Vijay Wadettiwar, Dr Gorhe get top posts in state legislature
Wadettiwar was elected unopposed as the opposition leader in the Assembly to replace Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, who, after defecting to BJP was made a minister a week ago
Congress group leader Vijay Wadettiwar, a former Shiv Sena leader, and Dr Neelam Gorhe, who had been associated with other parties before joining the Sena, were elected to prestigious positions in the lower and upper house of the state respectively on Monday.
Wadettiwar was elected unopposed as the opposition leader in the Assembly to replace Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, who, after defecting to BJP was made a minister a week ago. Dr Gorhe, a firebrand woman legislator who was with RPI factions of Prakash Ambedkar and Ramdas Athawale, was given the charge of deputy chairman of the legislative council, without any opposition. Both posts have a ministerial status.
Dr Gorhe had been expecting the post for long but political equations delayed her appointment until an arrangement was reached between the government and opposition where sharing of power in the houses was decided.
Wadettiwar’s appointment is seen as a result of his aggressive approach on and off the floor. Once Sena’s member of both houses, he had defected to the Congress in 2006 as part of the Narayan Rane group. He was made a minister after winning a by-election.
Rane quit the Congress after developing differences with party leadership but Wadettiwar stayed.
Early this month, Wadettiwar was appointed as a group leader and Balasaheb Thorat as leader of the Congress legislative party.
For Dr Gorhe, an Ayurveda doctor and social worker in the field of women rights, the post will continue even after this year’s Assembly elections because of the permanency of the upper house. Now in her third term in the upper house, her tenure as a member will end next year.
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