GANDHINAGAR: Veteran BJP MLA Jetha Bharwad was elected as the new Deputy Speaker of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly on Monday, the first day of the monsoon session.
The election of Bharwad (71), who was pitted against senior Congress MLA Anil Joshiara, was decided by majority through a voice vote in the 182-member Assembly, where the ruling BJP enjoys a clear edge with 112 legislators.
On the first day of the two-day monsoon session of the Assembly, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel proposed Bharwad's name for the vacant post of Deputy Speaker.
Since the Congress had fielded Joshiara for the post, Speaker Nimaben Acharya called for a voice vote and declared Bharwad elected as the new Deputy Speaker.
The opposition Congress has 65 MLAs.
Though Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani of the Congress demanded a division of votes, Acharya rejected his request, saying BJP's majority is "clearly visible in the House".
Bharwad is a five-time MLA from Shehra in Panchmahal district.