Senior Congress Legislators Sanjay Deotale and Madhukar Chavan are front-runners for the post of Maharashtra Assembly Deputy Speaker, party sources said.

“Deotale and Chavan are strong contenders for Deputy Speaker’s post, which will go to Congress as NCP MLA Dilip Walse-Patil was elected Speaker,” the sources told PTI.

Deotale is a fourth-term MLA from Warora Assembly Constituency in Vidarbha’s Chandrapur District. Chavan, senior Congress leader from Marathwada region, from where Chief Minister Ashok Chavan hails, is also a fourth term MLA from Tuljapur.

Deotale headed a Legislature panel which, in 2003, conducted extensive research in rural hospitals in the high lathyrus consumption districts of Bhandara, Gondia, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts.

Madhukar Chavan was an aspirant for a berth in the newly-constituted state ministry.

The new Deputy Speaker is likely to be elected during the winter session of state legislature, which begins at Nagpur on December 8, the sources said.