Government may not fill post of Lok Sabha deputy speaker

Speaker Om Birla named a panel of chairpersons amid speculation that the INDIA bloc has reached a consensus over fielding Awadhesh Prasad, the Faizabad MP, for the deputy speaker post.
Parliamentarians in the Lok Sabha during ongoing Parliament session, in New Delhi, Monday, July 1, 2024.
Parliamentarians in the Lok Sabha during ongoing Parliament session, in New Delhi, Monday, July 1, 2024. Photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: As uncertainty over the appointment of the deputy speaker post of the Lok Sabha continues, sources said the government is unlikely to move in this direction soon. The NDA is keeping the cards close to its chest over whether it will keep the post or allot it to an INDIA bloc candidate.

However, Speaker Om Birla’s move on Monday to appoint a panel of chairpersons to help him run the House proceedings shows the government does not want to appoint a deputy speaker, sources said.

Addressing the House on Monday, Birla said he has named Jagdambika Pal (BJP), P C Mohan (BJP), Sandhya Ray (BJP), Dilip Saikia (BJP), Kumari Selja (Congress), A Raja (DMK), Dr Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar (TMC), Krishna Prasad Tenneti (TDP), and Awadhesh Prasad (SP) as members of the panel of chairpersons. This comes amid speculation that the INDIA bloc has reached a consensus over fielding Prasad, the Faizabad MP, for the deputy speaker post. Sources said if INDIA bloc puts up Prasad as its candidate, the BJP will find it difficult to oppose.

According to the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha, these chairpersons preside over House proceedings when the Speaker is not in the Chair. They enjoy all powers vested in the Speaker.

By fielding Prasad, the Opposition is trying to send a message to the Dalit voters in Uttar Pradesh. “The government may not wish to send a wrong message by opposing Prasad’s candidature,” said an NDA leader.

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