Suspense looms as NDA allies hopeful of securing LS Speaker post; elections on June 26

Sources in BJP hinted that a strong possibility of continuation of incumbent Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, who has been elected to this house from the Kota LS seat in Rajasthan, can not be ruled out.
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: After the formation of the NDA government, headed by Prime Minister Modi, all eyes are now set on the impending decision of who will assume the prestigious role of Speaker in the 18th Lok Sabha.

With the NDA assuming power for a third consecutive term with a strength of 292 MPs against the Opposition’s 232 MPs in the Lower House of Parliament, the election of the LS speaker has assumed a major political significance in the present set of NDA’s coalition politics.

The NDA government, comprising a coalition of parties including key allies- Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Janata Dal (United) with17 and 16 Lok Sabha MPs respectively, is in the midst of a fervent internal debate regarding the choice of the Speaker.

While the BJP, as the main ally of the NDA, is reluctant to leave this post to any of NDA ally because of having a bigger strength of 240 MPs in the House.

Sources in BJP hinted that a strong possibility of continuation of incumbent Lok Sabha speaker, Om Birla, who has been elected to this house from the Kota LS seat in Rajasthan, can not be ruled out.

“There are indications suggesting that Birla may be poised for a second term in this constitutional role, owing to his commendable performance and experiences of running the House in the last term of LS," a senior BJP functionary in know of the development taking place hinted on Wednesday.

However, opposition parties have raised concerns, particularly by suggestions the two key allies of NDA to stake their claim for the Speaker's position.

Amid all these persisting speculations, several names have emerged as potential contenders for the post of Lok Sabha speaker.

“They are Radha Mohan Singh and Daggubati Purandeshwari-both from BJP side. One of them would be the first choice in case of continuation of Om Birla is not agreed by all allies of NDA”, said a senior BJP leader.

Daggubati Purandeshwari is the LS MP of BJP from Rajahmundry LS seat in Andhra Pradesh and currently state president of AP unit of BJP. Her nomination to this post is likely to be accepted by TDP because of familiar relations with TDP chief and AP CM N Chandrababu Naidu.

The second name doing the round across the BJP circle for the LS speaker is Radha Mohan Singh, who is also MP BJP form East Champaran in Bihar and chairperson of the Standing Committee on Railways. He had also served as union minister in the NDA government. He is a 6-time MP and holds a big political stature.

“He enjoys cordial political rapport with almost all parties even from Opposition sides. His nomination for LS speaker is supposed to be of wider acceptance across the party lines”, remarked a BJP source.

“D. Purandeshwari, a prominent figure from Andhra Pradesh, and Radha Mohan Singh, a seasoned politician from Bihar, are among those being considered for the role. However, the possibility of Om Birla retaining the position in the 18th Lok Sabha cannot be overlooked, given his track record and the support he enjoys within the NDA ranks”, remarked a senior BJP functionary.

Meanwhile, the date for election of the Speaker of LS has been announced on June 26 with the start of LS session from June 24 to July 3. As per the official information, the President will address both the Houses of Parliament in the LS chamber on June 27-the day session in Rajya Sabha will start. The election of LS speaker will take place on June 25.

“In pursuance of Sub-rule(1) of Rule 7 of the Procedure and Conduct of Business in LS, the President has been pleased to fix Wednesday, June 26th 2024, for holding the election to the Office of the speaker of Lok Sabha. In the present case, notices of motions for the election of the Speaker can be given before noon on Tuesday-the 25th June, 2024," the LS in a bulletin on the election of Speaker on Thursday said.

On Wednesday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju had also appealed to all political parties for a constructive debate in the upcoming session of the Parliament.

He said that nation wants to see good discussions in the House.

“The government wants to run Parliament through consensus as people have given a mandate and everyone should work as 'Team India' to serve the nation. We should have quality debate in Parliament. The country wants to see meaningful debate in Parliament. I appeal for cooperation from all political parties for smooth running of the house”, he told the media.

He said that the country has given a mandate to NDA to serve the country and it would discharge its duty.

“Those, who have got people's mandate should run the government and the NDA got the people's mandate. And those who have got the people’s mandate to sit in the opposition should perform the role of constructive opposition," he asserted.

Through a post on ‘X’, Rijiju said the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha will begin on June 24 and will continue till July 3. “The first three days of the session will see the newly-elected members taking oath or making affirmation of their membership of the Lok Sabha and electing the Speaker of the House”, he said.

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