Who is Rahul Narwekar, the new Maharashtra Assembly Speaker?
The Maharashtra Assembly got a new Speaker on Sunday after standing at the heart of a political tempest over the last several weeks. Rahul Narwekar, a BJP lawmaker, was elected to the position with 164 votes. He won by roughly 50 votes against Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena candidate Rajan Salvi. Know more about Narwekar, the MLA from Mumbai's Colaba constituency.
Narwekar is from a notable political family. His father, Suresh Narwekar, was a councilor. Ramraje Naik, his father-in-law, is an NCP politician who serves as the chairman and speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Council. Narwekar was a Shiv Sena member until 2014. At the time, he wished to contest the Lok Sabha elections, but he was not awarded a ticket.
Narwekar has been associated with Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) before joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prior to the 2019 Assembly elections in Maharashtra, as per India Today. Narwekar was elected as the MLA from Colaba after defeating the Congress candidate Ashok Jagtap in the 2019 Assembly elections. Notably, he had joined the BJP hours before filing the nomination.
As per Hindustan Times, Narwekar had practiced law before joining politics. The 45-year-old politician started his career with the Shiv Sena and rose to become the spokesperson of Yuva Sena, HT reported. Notably, Yuva Sena is the youth wing headed by Uddhav Thackeray's son Aaditya Thackeray. Narwekar quit the Sena in 2014 ahead of the Lok Sabha polls and joined the NCP.
Narwekar ran as an NCP candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from the Maval seat. In a close race, he was defeated by Shrirang Appa Barne of the Shiv Sena.
Professor Suresh Jondhale, a political analyst, described Narwekar's election as the BJP's political adjustment. "They want a reliable person who can help them at this crucial juncture," he told News 18. Dr. Anant Kalse, former principal secretary of the Legislative Secretariat, termed him the perfect person for the post. "Having a vast legal experience as a practicing lawyer, he fits the bill," he said.