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Rahul Gandhi: Congress supports NDA Speaker candidate, demands Deputy Speaker post

Following efforts by Rajnath Singh and Kiren Rijiju to build consensus, the opposition will not field a Speaker candidate. Om Birla, the previous Speaker, met PM Modi, indicating his possible retention.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 New Delhi Updated on: June 25, 2024 11:33 IST
Rahul Gandhi
Image Source : PTI/FILE PHOTO New Delhi: Congress MP Rahul Gandhi at the Parliament House complex on the first day of the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha, in New Delhi.

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi announced that the Congress party will support the NDA's candidate for Lok Sabha Speaker but emphasised the convention that the Deputy Speaker post should be given to the opposition. Sources revealed that the opposition will not field a candidate for the Lok Sabha Speaker post after reaching a consensus with the ruling BJP-led NDA. The decision followed efforts by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju to build consensus.

 

Om Birla meets PM Modi

On Tuesday, Om Birla, the Speaker of the previous Lok Sabha, met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, suggesting that the NDA might retain him for the role. Previously, it was indicated that the Deputy Speaker's post could be offered to the opposition if they agreed on the NDA's candidate for Speaker.

Historical context and unanimity tradition

The Deputy Speaker's position has been vacant since 2019, with AIADMK's M Thambi Durai last holding the post in 2014. The deadline for filing nominations for the Speaker post is June 25, and if the opposition had fielded a candidate, an election would have occurred on Wednesday. Historically, all Speakers have been elected unanimously in India's parliamentary history.

Tensions over pro tem Speaker appointment

The consensus emerged amid tensions over the appointment of pro tem Speaker Bhartruhari Mahtab. Opposition leaders refused to join the panel assisting the pro tem Speaker, accusing the government of breaking tradition by not appointing the senior-most Lok Sabha member to the temporary position.

Congress will support the NDA's candidate for Lok Sabha Speaker, demanding the Deputy Speaker role for the opposition. Consensus was achieved after efforts by government ministers. Om Birla's meeting with PM Modi indicates he might continue as Speaker. The Deputy Speaker's post has been vacant since 2019. The deadline for Speaker nominations is June 25, with historical precedence for unanimous elections. Tensions arose over the pro tem Speaker appointment, highlighting deviations from tradition.

Also read | Om Birla, who was Speaker in previous Lok Sabha, likely to be NDA's candidate: Sources

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