NEW DELHI: Days before the commencement of monsoon session of Parliament, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla urging him to immediately appoint the Deputy Speaker, a post lying vacant since the Lower House was constituted in May 2019.
Citing constitutional mandate, Chowdhury said the Deputy Speaker’s post is offered to the Opposition by convention, and there are several examples in this regard.
“The Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha should be filled either by an election or consensus as early as may after a new Lok Sabha is constituted. I would urge upon you that during the monsoon session itself the Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha must be elected. I hope that this House will be adhering to the Constitutional mandate under your guidance,” he said.
The Congress MP said Parliament has been set in motion to conduct the monsoon session of this year, and it is the first time in the history of Parliament that MPs are poised to participate in an alien ambience given the pandemic situation which is once in a century human tragedy.
“Already a year has elapsed but still the Lok Sabha is deprived of having a Deputy Speaker as if it appears a one-horn chair of the Lower House. Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha is preparing to elect its Deputy Chairman. Sir, it is an opportune moment to elect the Deputy Speaker of the Lower House,” he added.
In the 543-member house, the BJP is the single-largest party with 303 MPs followed by the Congress with 51 members.
Congress' House strength
Congress doesn’t have the post of Leader of Opposition as its strength is less than 10% of the House strength. In the last LS, AIADMK’s Thambidurai was elected as the Deputy Speaker.