With just days left for the election of the new Lok Sabha Speaker, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and opposition’s INDIA bloc are close to reaching a consensus on the crucial post in the Lower House of the Parliament. The Lok Sabha is set to elect a Speaker on June 26. 

The INDIA bloc might as well not nominate a candidate for Speaker’s post in the 18th Lok Sabha, if the Deputy Speaker’s post is allocated to the opposition,  sources said. 

Speaker elected without contest

If the INDIA bloc forces an election to the post of Speaker of the Lok Sabha next week, it would be the first such instance in the history of Independent India as the presiding officer has always been chosen by a consensus.

In 16th Lok Sabha (2014) and 17th Lok Sabha (2019), when the BJP won an outright majority, party Members of Parliament (MPs) Sumitra Mahajan and Om Birla were elected Speaker without any contest. 

Also Read: How is Lok Sabha Speaker elected? Why is the post crucial for PM Modi 3.0? Explained in 5 points

AIADMK leader M Thambi Durai was the Deputy Speaker in 16th Lok Sabha, but the post remained vacant in the 17th Lok Sabha.

INDIA bloc wants Dy Speaker

Buoyed by its increased strength in the Lok Sabha, the opposition INDIA bloc is now aggressively demanding the post of the Deputy Speaker, which, by convention, is held by a member of an opposition party.

As things stand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union government does not want a confrontation with the Opposition over the issue of Speaker or Deputy Speaker, according to a report in The Indian Express quoting sources. Every thing will, however, depend on how the Opposition responds to government’s overtures, the report said.

BJP Dy Speaker during UPA I, II

In the two terms of Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government between 2004 and 2014, the post of Deputy Speaker was offered to BJP MPs Charanjit Singh Atwal and Kariya Munda. 

The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha will begin on June 24 and conclude on July 3. While the first two days have been reserved for the oath-taking of the newly elected, the election for Lok Sabha Speaker is scheduled for June 26.  

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As for the NDA, the allies may agree to the idea of a BJP leader for the Speaker’s post after consultations. While Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu‘s TDP leaders have said the candidate must be jointly decided by NDA partners, JD(U) leader KC Tyagi has indicated that the party might as well support the candidate nominated by the BJP.

Cong MP K Suresh to be Pro-tem Speaker

As per the process, before the Parliament session begins, the President appoints a Pro-tem Speaker to administer the oath of office to the newly elected MPs.  Aas per the convention, the most senior MP will be appointed as pro-tem Speaker. 

Congress MP Kodikunnil Suresh, the most senior MP who has been elected for an eighth term, is expected to be given charge of the proceedings.

Speaker Front-Runners

Some reports suggested that Om Birla will continue to be the Lok Sabha speaker. Birla won Lok Sabha Elections 2024 as a BJP candidate from Kota, Rajasthan. 

Also Read: Why did Rahul Gandhi retain Rae Bareli over Wayanad? Mallikarjun Kharge says…

Among the other names being considered for the Speaker’s post is Daggubati Purandeswari. The daughter of TDP founder NT Rama Rao, Purandeswari is a BJP politician from Andhra Pradesh, and also the party’s state unit president.

Bhartruhari Mahtab, a seven-term MP who quit the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and won the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 on a BJP ticket, is also among the front-runners for the top post.

(With PTI Inputs)

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Published: 18 Jun 2024, 11:14 AM IST


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