Sharad Pawar is a good negotiator. Despite some NCP leaders prematurely seeking that Congress “do something soon” to prevent Sena-BJP resuming charge of the Maharashtra government in 1999, he kept Congress on tenterhooks till it accepted a power-sharing formula. He had told confidants then that had it been left to him from the start, the NCP would have got the CM’s post and the Speaker’s too, leaving some crumbs for the other. It is likely that hard bargaining for the Assembly’s Speaker’s post is in the offing. With Nana Patole quitting speakership on being appointed Maharashtra Congress President, the Speaker’s post has once again become a coveted target for all three parties constituting the government. The Maha Vikas Aghadi comprising Shiv Sena, NCP, and the Congress are not going to let go of an opportunity to grab it. Would the consummate Pawar, hailed as the architect of the coalition MVA, ensure his party gets the Speakership? Despite being partners with some give and take between them, except for the Congress making some noises against the Sena, the government has been functioning fairly in the Covid19 environment. Patole’s exit has clearly unsettled the equations. Now the fun begins.