18th Lok Sabha likely to have Deputy Speaker

Sources said the NDA has not rejected the opposition’s claim on the post but criticised its insistence that its nominee should be given the position.
Om Birla
Om BirlaFile photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: The ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is open to the idea of having a deputy speaker in the Lok Sabha, sources said on Thursday, stressing that a call on the matter will be taken later.

Sources said the NDA has not rejected the opposition's claim on the post but criticised its insistence that its nominee should be given the position, saying such a precondition could not be considered during the speaker's election.

There was no deputy speaker during the previous Lok Sabha.

It may be noted the government's efforts to reach a consensus on Om Birla's choice as the speaker fell through as the opposition INDIA bloc insisted that it should be promised the position of his deputy as per "convention".

Om Birla
Om Birla wins first election for Lok Sabha Speaker's post in about five decades

The NDA's brains trust had said that the opposition's demand can be considered when the election for the deputy speaker takes place but it should not impose any precondition.

The opposition ended up putting up seasoned Congress leader K.Suresh as its candidate, with Birla getting elected by a voice vote.

Though different governments in past have allowed the opposition to have its nominee as the deputy speaker, the BJP has noted that it has not always been the case.

The Congress has claimed that as the recognised opposition party, a status it did not enjoy during the previous two Lok Sabha, its member should get the position in the Lower House.

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