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How is Lok Sabha Speaker elected? Know its roles and responsibilities

The Constitution of India has specified the provisions of Lok Sabha Speaker and Deputy Speaker in Articles 93 to Articles 96. The Speaker of the Lok Sabha serves as the presiding officer and the highest authority in the House of the People.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan New Delhi Updated on: June 12, 2024 10:05 IST
How is Speaker of Lok Sabha elected?
Image Source : INDIA TV The Speaker is generally elected during the first session of the newly convened Lok Sabha.

With the ministerial portfolios now assigned in the Modi 3.0 government, the focus has now shifted to the crucial task of election the Lok Sabha Speaker. Although the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fell short of securing the 272-seat majority required in the Lok Sabha, it successfully formed the government by leveraging support from its National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners. Now, the BJP needs to collaborate closely with its allies to decide on the Speaker's post. This is particularly essential with key partners like Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) (JD-U). Ensuring the support of these allies will be critical for the BJP as it navigates this significant parliamentary decision. 

All eyes are now on the lower house of Parliament, which is poised to appoint a Leader of the Opposition (LoP) and is anticipated to designate a Deputy Speaker as well. Traditionally, the position of Deputy Speaker is assigned to a member of the Opposition. According to Article 93 of the Indian Constitution, the Lok Sabha is mandated to elect two members to the roles of Speaker and Deputy Speaker whenever these offices become vacant. However, the Constitution does not stipulate a specific timeline for these elections. This lack of a defined timeframe often leads to delays and strategic maneuvering within the house, as parties negotiate and position themselves for these crucial roles.

How is Speaker of Lok Sabha elected? 

According to the Constitution of India, the post of the Speaker falls vacant just before the newly elected Lok Sabha convenes for its first session. Meanwhile, the President appoints a pro-tem Speaker to oversee the initial proceedings, including administering the oath of office to the newly elected Members of Parliament. Following this, the Lok Sabha elects a new Speaker by a simple majority vote.

While there are no specific qualifications required to be elected as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, possessing a thorough understanding of the Constitution and parliamentary rules is highly beneficial. This expertise aids in effectively managing the proceedings and maintaining order within the house.

In the last two Lok Sabha sessions, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which held a majority, appointed Sumitra Mahajan and Om Birla as the Speakers in 2014 and 2019 respectively. Both leaders were chosen based on their extensive experience and knowledge of parliamentary procedures. The selection of the new Speaker will be closely watched, given its critical role in ensuring the smooth functioning of the Lok Sabha.

Powers of Lok Sabha Speaker 

  • The President of India convenes a joint sitting of Parliament, which is typically presided over by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. In the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha assumes this responsibility.
  • Within the lower house, the Speaker plays a crucial role in maintaining discipline and decorum among the members. The Speaker oversees the proceedings, ensuring that the rules are followed, and guides the discussions by deciding who will speak and when. Additionally, the Speaker determines which questions will be raised and the sequence of events during the session.
  • In cases of a voting deadlock, the Speaker casts the deciding vote. This voting power is exercised only when both sides receive an equal number of votes, underscoring the impartial nature of the Speaker's position.
  • In the absence of a quorum, the speaker decides to adjoin the house and suspend the meeting.  
  • The speaker decides the agenda that must be discussed in the meeting of the members of the parliament.
  • The speaker has the power to permit various procedures by adjoining the motion of confidence, the motion of censure among others. 
  • The Speaker of the Lok Sabha holds the authority to grant recognition to the Leader of the Opposition. 
  • The Speaker has the power to nominate various chairpersons to parliamentary committees. These committees are tasked with overseeing and evaluating the effectiveness of different parliamentary functions and ensuring that the work is being conducted properly.

ALSO READ: Who will be Lok Sabha Speaker as Modi 3.0 takes charge? Suspense continues

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