With no consensus between the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Opposition INDIA bloc over Lok Sabha Speaker post and the deadline for the nominations nearing, the two alliances have separately fielded their candidates. On June 26, as the Lok Sabha convenes, the legislators will vote to elect the next Speaker, choosing between the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Om Birla as NDA candidate and Congress’ Kodikunnil Suresh as the Opposition nomination.

Om Birla, a three-time MP from Kota, and longest-serving Lok Sabha MP from Kerala K Suresh have filed their nominations for the post of Lok Sabha Speaker. The nomination process will be held today, June 25, and the elections will be held on June 26. Click here for Lok Sabha Session LIVE Updates

Om Birla vs K Suresh: Who has advantage in 543-member Lok Sabha?

The NDA, which has 293 MPs in the 543-member Lok Sabha, enjoys a clear majority. The Opposition bloc has 234 legislators in the lower House of Parliament.

With numbers in favour of the NDA, Om Birla is set to become the Lok Sabha Speaker for a second term. Om Birla was first elected to Lok Sabha in 2014. He was unanimously elected as the Speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha when he returned as an MP from Kota.

Why did Opposition field K Suresh?

K Suresh’s nomination as the Opposition candidate came after a tense discourse between the NDA and INDIA bloc over the post of deputy Speaker. INDIA bloc said it was willing to support NDA candidate but only if the deputy Speaker post is given to the Opposition.

Rahul Gandhi said Defence Minister and senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh had called Mallikarjun Kharge to reach a consensus between the two blocs but the talks fell apart over the deputy Speaker post.

“Rajnath Singh called Mallikarjun Kharge and he asked him to extend support to the Speaker. The entire Opposition said that we would support the Speaker but the convention is that the Deputy Speaker post should be given to the opposition. Rajnath Singh said that he would call back Mallikarjun Kharge but he has not done that yet,” Rahul Gandhi said.

Kodikunnil Suresh was fielded after the NDA did not accept the Opposition demand for eputy Speaker post.

This is first Lok Sabha Speaker election since Independence

This is the first time since Independence that elections will be held for the Lok Sabha Speaker since Opposition, too, has fielded its candidate for the post. The Lok Sabha Speaker and deputy Speaker have always been elected by consensus between the ruling party and the Opposition.

Since the ruling NDA and the Opposition reached no concensus, both blocs fielded their candidates for the Lok Sabha Speaker post. The election will be held on June 26.

How did NDA react to Opposition demands?

The BJP MPs say the Opposition has gone against Parliamentary tradition by listing a pre-condition of “give and take” to support the NDA candidate. Union Minister Ramdas Athawale, however, said the Opposition has the right to field a candidate in a democracy but the NDA has numbers.

Union Minister Pralhad Joshi said, “Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah had a conversation with the leaders of the Opposition but they had a pre-condition to support our candidate for the Speaker. They [Opposition] are going to contest against us although we have the numbers, but this is against the Parliamentary traditions.”

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju said, “The Speaker is elected unanimously. It is disheartening that Congress has nominated its candidate for the Speaker. This give and take of posts of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker is not right.”

Union Civil Aviation Minister and TDP leader Ram Mohan Naidu Kinjarapu said, “It is not a good thing to keep conditions. Democracy does not work on conditions.”

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Published: 25 Jun 2024, 01:00 PM IST