BJP likely to retain speaker, TDP might get deputy speaker post

A crucial meeting of the NDA allies is expected to take place this week to arrive at a consensus on the selection of the Speaker.
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu Photo | EPS

NEW DELHI: The BJP is likely to retain the Lok Sabha Speaker post in the NDA-III government and incumbent Om Birla may continue for another term, sources in the party indicated on Monday.

The sources said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision on who will chair the Lok Sabha will be accepted by the BJP’s allies.

Ahead of the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha beginning from June 24, a crucial meeting of the NDA allies is expected to take place this week to arrive at a consensus on the selection of the Speaker.

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“Wait, everything will be clear after this meeting. BJP’s intention is to select a speaker which is acceptable to the allies. A meeting with the allies will make this clear this week,” a senior BJP leader said. “The final declaration of the name will be made by the PM on June 26 -- the day election for this post has been scheduled in the LS -- reflecting the coalition’s strategic cohesion,” the leader said.

Sources said that a meeting of the NDA allies may take place either on June 20 to evolve a streamlined approach for selecting a Speaker by June 26.

Among the names doing the rounds for the constitutional position in the Lok Sabha are D Purandeshwari, a BJP MP and party chief in Andhra Pradesh (now under the rule of TDP, an alliance partner of NDA), and Radha Mohan Singh, a six-time MP and former Union minister.

“If no consensus emerges on any of these two names, the incumbent Speaker’s continuity remains a possibility,” a BJP leader said, claiming that no difference among the NDA allies will crop up on the election of LS Speaker.

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Deputy speaker post likely for alliance partner

If sources are to be believed, the BJP may think of giving the deputy LS speaker post to its NDA ally like TDP.

“In addition to the speaker’s appointment, a strategic allocation of the deputy Lok Sabha speaker post, potentially to accommodate alliance partners like the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is almost certain with an aim to balance regional representation within the NDA in the LS following the NDA’s commitment to inclusivity and effective governance,” a BJP leader said.

“If the BJP’s anticipated retention of the LS Speaker post gets materialised, it will certainly underscore its organizational stability and leadership continuity,” the leader said.

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A BJP senior leader, familiar with the development regarding on LS speaker selection, said, “As preparations intensify for the upcoming parliamentary session, the selection of the Lok Sabha Speaker stands as a pivotal decision for the NDA coalition. With deliberations ongoing and consensus-building efforts in full swing, the coalition aims to solidify its leadership structure to effectively address national challenges.”

If the Opposition forces an election to the post of Speaker next week, it would be the first such instance in the history of independent India as the presiding officer has always been chosen by a consensus.

Since Independence, Lok Sabha Speakers have been chosen by consensus, and only M A Ayyangar, G S Dhillon, Balram Jakhar and G M C Balayogi have retained the coveted posts in the subsequent Lok Sabhas.

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