Consensus on Speaker's post unlikely after Rahul Gandhi lashes out at PM Modi for snub

Rahul's criticism of PM Modi came after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reached out to opposition leaders to help build a consensus
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge seen with party MP Rahul Gandhi.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge seen with party MP Rahul Gandhi. (Photo | PTI)

There is likely to be no consensus on the Speaker's post after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Centre for a perceived snub from the lawns of the Parliament ahead of Tuesday's session.

Om Birla, the speaker of the previous Lok Sabha, is set to return to the post as the National Democratic Alliance's nominee. He might though not be the consensus candidate after Rahul made it clear that the Congress is feeling slighted.

Rahul's criticism of PM Modi came after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reached out to opposition leaders to help build a consensus around the NDA nominee.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge was reportedly keen on being assured of the Deputy Speaker's post in return. The opposition cited convention to back the claim. But then came the rebuff.

"We all know that there is no meaning in Prime Minister Modi's words. He talks of cooperation and everyone working together, but what actually is happening is something else. Our leader (Mallikarjun Kharge) was told his call will be returned, but it hasn't been till now," Rahul told reporters from the footsteps of the Parliament.

The INDIA bloc was reportedly keen on Kodikunnil Suresh becoming the Deputy Speaker. They had earlier wanted the eight-time MP to be named as the pro-tem Speaker by virtue of him having won the most number of elections among current members.

Then, the NDA had instead cast their vote in favour of Bhartruhari Mahtab.

"The Parliamentary affairs minister argues that I didn’t have eight uninterrupted terms as a Lok Sabha member. But Mahtab served as a BJD MP for six terms and now he became a BJP MP for the first time. How can a person, who jumped ship to another party, administer an oath to the newly elected MPs? It is a violation of democratic principles," a disappointed Suresh had told The New Indian Express.

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