Mumbai | Jagran Politics Desk: Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Nana Patole on Thursday resigned from his post. Patole, who handed over his resignation to Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal, will likely become the next state Congress chief, replacing Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat.

Patole's name was doing rounds for the post of Maharashtra Congress chief. Patole, who wanted to become a minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, had also met former Congress President Rahul Gandhi earlier, fueling speculations that he will likely become the next state party chief.

"He has been told that the party leadership does not want to disturb the state Cabinet and that the party needs a full-time chief to head the unit. Patole has reportedly accepted the party decision and will lead the state unit," said a Congress leader earlier.

Patole had on Tuesday also asked the state legislature to frame a law to give voters the option of using ballot papers besides EVMs in the local governing bodies' and state Assembly polls.

"I have asked the state government to frame a law in this connection. The state government can frame a law. In the past, doubts were raised during the elections (about EVM tampering)," he had said while speaking to news agency PTI.

Several parties, including the Congress, had in the past urged the Election Commission to revert to the ballot paper system, alleging tampering of EVMs in polls.

Representing the applicant on Tuesday, advocate Satish Uke said it is the right of voters from the state to have the option of casting their votes via ballot paper as well.

According to the statement, he said it should be left to people to decide whether EVMs or ballot papers are trustworthy and it is the legislature's responsibility to frame a law keeping in mind public sentiments.

Several opposition parties across the country have in the past alleged tampering of EVMs and demanded reverting to the ballot paper system.

However, the BJP had previously hit out at the opposition parties for raising doubts over the credibility of EVMs.

In Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress are in power under the aegis of the Maha Vikas Aghadi, while the BJP is in the opposition in the state.

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma