NEW DELHI: BJP veterans Jual Oram and S S Ahluwalia are among the probable candidates to succeed Sumitra Mahajan as Lok Sabha Speaker while the BJD is likely to bag the chair of Deputy Speaker with Bhartruhari Mahtab, the leader of the party in the 16th Lok Sabha, being seen as the frontrunner.
Both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker will be elected on June 19.
The Deputy Speaker’s post has traditionally gone to an Opposition leader. M Thambidurai of the AIADMK was the Deputy Speaker in the 16th Lok Sabha.
The AIADMK is now part of the ruling NDA.
BJP’s Maneka Gandhi is the seniormost among the party MPs in the Lower House, having won eight elections.
“On criteria essential for one to occupy the Chair, three members — Gandhi, Oram and Ahluwalia — qualify. They all have the competence needed to preside over the House proceedings,” said a BJP functionary.
Party leaders, however, said Gandhi may not make the cut since the party would opt for one who would steadfastly run the House in the manner Mahajan did during 2014-19 amidst a vociferous Opposition.
“The BJP may opt for a tribal face. The last tribal to occupy the Speaker’s Chair was P Sangma during the NDA reign. The BJP has high stakes in tribal regions of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and the Northeast.
Thus, Oram politically suits to emerge the choice of the party’s top leadership,” said the BJP functionary.
Oram has won four Lok Sabha elections, besides Assembly polls in Odisha. He was a Cabinet minister in the first term of the Modi government.
Ahluwalia has served four terms in the Rajya Sabha, besides being elected the second time for the Lok Sabha from West Bengal.
“While Oram is soft-spoken, Ahluwalia is combative and well-versed in norms and conventions to run the House effectively. That he hails from a minority community is an added advantage for him,” said the BJP functionary.
Party leaders anticipate stormy sessions of the Lok Sabha despite the Opposition being electorally battered.
Rajya Sabha session on June 29
The President has summoned the Rajya Sabha to meet on June 29. The session will conclude on July 26. The 17th Lok Sabha will be summoned on June 17.
The President will be requested to address both Houses jointly in the Central Hall of Parliament on June 20. The Union Budget for 2019-20 will be presented on July 5.