Maharashtra State Congress President Balasaheb Thorat has been appointed the new Maharashtra Congress Legislature Party leader, top party leaders announced here on Tuesday. Thorat's name was announced by AICC General Secretary and state in-charge Mallikarjun Kharge at a meeting of Congress legislators a short while ago. The development came after the Supreme Court verdict ordering an Assembly floor test on November 27, amid speculation that Thorat - the seniormost eight-time elected legislator - could be in the race for Pro-Tem Speaker.
Shiv Sena has already named Eknath Shinde as its legislature party chief and the Nationalist Congress Party has appointed state party chief Jayant Patil as its legislature party leader.
The three parties had on Monday staked claim to form the government and in the evening publicly paraded their 162 MLAs challenging the claims of the Bharatiya Janata Party and NCP rebel Ajit Pawar's support of 170-plus legislators.