New Delhi: As the Supreme Court ordered open ballot floor test for Maharashtra on Novembr 27, Wednesday, all eyes are now set on the appointment of the pro-tem speaker.  If reports are to be believed, a total of six eligible names (Three senior most MLAs of the BJP and three legislators of the Congress) have been submitted  to Maharashtra Governor Koshyari for the post.

While Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, Kalidas Kolambkar, Babanrao Bhikaji Pachpute are in the fray from the BJP,  Congress leaders Balasaheb Thorat,  KC Padvi are also considered as the front-runners for the post of the pro-tem speaker. NCP’s Jayant Patil and Dilip Walse-Patil are also in the list.

As per the set tradition, the senior-most member should be appointed as the pro-tem Speaker.

In the current Assembly, Congress’ Balasaheb Thorat a legislator elected from Sangamner (Ahmednagar), is the seniormost MLA with eight terms behind him. Thorat, a lawmaker from Sangamner is also the Congress’ Maharashtra unit chief. He has been elected as Congress Legislative Party leader, earlier in the day.

What is the role of the pro-tem speaker?

The pro-tem speaker, has a limited role. He administers the oath of office to the newly-elected legislators . He also supervises the process of the election of a new speaker, who later conducts the floor test for the chief minister to prove his majority. But in case of Maharashtra pro-tem speaker will conduct floor test, following the directive of the Supreme Court.

How is he Appointed?

The Governor appoints the pro-tem Speaker after seeking recommendations from the Chief Minister.