Opposition decides to contest for deputy speaker post

The Deputy Speaker post is a constitutional position; by convention, it goes to the Opposition, says former Lok Sabha Secretary-General P DT Achary.
Lok Sabha during a special session at the Parliament House in New Delhi.
Lok Sabha during a special session at the Parliament House in New Delhi.Photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: As the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha is expected to begin in the third week of June with the oath-taking by the newly elected candidates as members of the House, it is keenly watched whether the House will get a Deputy Speaker or not. With the INDIA bloc parties having an impressive number of 234 members in the new Lok Sabha, the opposition leaders are pitching for a deputy speaker, a post that had been vacant for the last five years.

While the outgoing 17th Lok Sabha was unprecedented in functioning without a deputy speaker, the Constitution mandates the election of the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha soon after the Speaker is elected, says former Lok Sabha Secretary-General P DT Achary.

He said that the Deputy Speaker post is a constitutional position; by convention, it goes to the Opposition. “The Constitution guarantees an important place for the Deputy Speaker in the parliamentary system. Not appointing one was unconstitutional,” said Achary.

Article 93 of the Constitution states that “the House of the People (Lok Sabha) must choose the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker as soon as may be.”

“The Deputy Speaker post is a constitutional position; by convention, it goes to the Opposition. The Opposition should claim the post in the new Lok Sabha. It is also an elected post. The practice has been to elect the speaker first and within a week, the deputy speaker will also be elected,” said Achary.

An Opposition leader said that they will pitch for the Deputy Speaker post as it has been held by opposition parties in the past. “During the UPA rule from 2004-2014, the deputy Speaker was held by the opposition BJP-led NDA. Most governments have been following the tradition of choosing a member from the Opposition as a consensus candidate for the post,” said the leader.

In 1956, the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru proposed Sardar Hukam Singh, an Opposition Akali Dal MP, as Deputy Speaker, and most governments have continued this tradition.

According to the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in LS, the deputy speaker enjoys the same powers as the Speaker when they preside over a sitting House.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com