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Lok Sabha Speaker election: BJP initiates consultations with its allies, Opposition weighs options

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.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan New Delhi Updated on: June 24, 2024 20:33 IST
Lok Sabha Speaker election
Image Source : INDIA TV The Speaker is generally elected during the first session of the newly convened Lok Sabha

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has initiated discussions with its allies regarding the National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) candidate for the Lok Sabha Speaker's position, news agency PTI reported citing sources on Monday. This development comes just a day before the deadline for filing nominations for this post. Meanwhile, the Opposition coalition, known as the I.N.D.I.A bloc, is evaluating its strategies and may challenge the ruling alliance's candidate in a bid to gain political leverage. 

Despite holding a clear majority in the Lok Sabha, the NDA has remained tight-lipped about its preferred candidate. The alliance is carefully considering its options to prevent the Opposition from seizing any opportunity for political criticism. Union Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader K Rammohan Naidu informed reporters that the decision will be made by the alliance's senior leaders, including TDP President and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. However, he noted that no definitive decision has been communicated to them yet.

Is Om Birla a potential for re-nomination? 

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a leader from another BJP ally disclosed that the party's leadership had engaged in consultations with him regarding the upcoming decisions. However, he refrained from divulging specific details of those discussions. Since returning to power for a third consecutive term, the NDA has been inclined towards maintaining continuity in its selections. This sentiment resonates among a faction of NDA leaders who perceive Om Birla, the former Speaker of the previous Lok Sabha, as a potential candidate for re-nomination. Nevertheless, there has been no official confirmation or statement regarding this possibility as yet. 

Opposition's strategy on Speaker's post 

Several Opposition leaders said they will take a call on whether their alliance will name its candidate for the Speaker's post and force a contest depending on the NDA's stand. Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) MP NK Premchandran said the opposition may contest for the Speaker post if the government does not make any effort to build consensus on the candidate. On a day when the opposition leaders refused to be a part of the panel to assist the pro-tem speaker, the RSP MP, a part of the INDIA bloc, said the practice is that the government holds discussions with parties to build consensus on the candidate for the Speaker's post.

Opposition boycotts panel over pro-tem Speaker appointment

The Opposition stayed away from the panel after seven-term MP Bhartruhari Mahtab from the BJP was made the pro-tem speaker, skipping K Suresh of the Congress who is serving his eighth term in the Lower House. "We will likely decide after we are told about the NDA's nominee," a leader said, adding that the opposition may name an MP from a socially weaker community depending on who is in the fray from the ruling camp. The NDA has 293 MPs while the opposition I.N.D.I.A bloc has 234 MPs in the 543-member Lok Sabha. A few independent MPs have announced their support to the Congress but the ruling alliance has a clear majority in the House.

18th Lok Sabha: Council of Ministers take oath

Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and members of his Council of Ministers took the oath as members of the 18th Lok Sabha as its first session began on June 24. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, took oaths as Members of Parliament. Union Ministers G. Kishan Reddy, Chirag Paswan, Kiren Rijiju, Nitin Gadkari, and Mansukh Mandaviya took oaths as members of the 18th Lok Sabha, amongst others. Union Ministers Bhupender Yadav, Giriraj Singh, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, JD(U) MP Rajiv Ranjan (Lalan) Singh, BJP MP Piyush Goyal, and Union Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also took oaths as members of the 18th Lok Sabha.

(With inputs from PTI)

ALSO READ: Who is pro-tem Speaker of Lok Sabha? Know all about the controversy, past post-holders

 

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