Ruling BJP Bharatiya Janata Party in Gujarat has announced Shankar Chaudhary and Jethabhai Bharwad as its candidates for the post of Gujarat Assembly Speaker and Deputy Speaker of state’s newly elected 15th Legislative Assembly respectively. According to an official notification issued by Gujarat Assembly Secretariat, first meeting of newly elected Assembly will be held on December 20, in which the first Speaker and Deputy Speaker posts will be elected, while other work will be done subsequently. Another notification said that all newly elected MLAs will be administered oath in the assembly by pro-tem speaker Yogesh Patel on December 19. In recently concluded assembly elections in Gujarat, BJP retained power by winning 156 out of the total 182 seats, while Congress got 17 seats and remaining seats went to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Samajwadi Party (SP) and independent candidates.
Based on numerical strength, it is believed that Shankar Chaudhary and Jetha Bharwad will be elected to the respective posts in circumstances of election. Speaker of the Legislative Assembly is usually elected unopposed. Representing Tharad seat in Banaskantha district, Shankar Chaudhary served as a minister in the government led by Anandiben Patel and Vijay Rupani from 2014 to 2017. In the 2017 elections, Chaudhary lost from Vav seat. Jetha Bharwad, a six-time MLA from Shehra Assembly seat in Panchmahal district, served as Deputy Speaker of the Assembly for one year in the 14th Assembly between 2021 and 2022. Jetha Bharwad is Chairman of Panchmahal Dairy, wheras Shankar Chaudhary is President of Banas Dairy.