Surama Padhy files nomination, all set to be elected as Odisha Speaker unopposed

Sixty-three-year-old Padhy will be the second woman to occupy the Speaker’s post and succeed BJD’s Pramila Mallik.
Surama Padhy filing nomination
Surama Padhy filing nominationPhoto | Express

BHUBANESWAR: Senior BJP leader and Ranpur MLA Surama Padhy is all set to be the Speaker of the 17th Legislative Assembly of Odisha.

Though election to the post is scheduled on Thursday, Padhy will be elected unopposed with neither the BJD nor the Congress pitching its candidate on Wednesday, the last date for filing of nominations.

Sixty-three-year-old Padhy will be the second woman to occupy the Speaker’s post and succeed BJD’s Pramila Mallik who had created history by becoming the first woman Speaker of Odisha Assembly in September 2023. She too was elected unopposed.

On Wednesday, Padhy filed her nomination papers in presence of Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi, Deputy Chief Ministers KV Singhdeo and Pravati Parida, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Suresh Pujari, other members of the Cabinet and BJP MLAs. No BJD or Congress MLA was present when Padhy filed her papers.

Padhy’s name as the Speaker candidate was finalised at the meeting of the BJP Legislature Party presided over by the chief minister where all party MLAs were present. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Mahaling announced her name as the BJP candidate for the Speaker’s post.

Mahaling said the chief minister had spoken to BJD president Naveen Patnaik and sought his support. The BJD has 51 MLAs while there are 14 members of the Congress in the Assembly. The BJP, however, has a clear majority in the 147-member Assembly with 78 MLAs and the support of three Independents. 

Padhy won from Ranpur Assembly seat in the just-concluded elections. She had last won the seat in 2004 when she served as the minister of state for Cooperation in the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD-BJP alliance government.

Meanwhile, speculation is rife on who will be the next deputy speaker, government chief whip and deputy chief whip. The names of Laxman Bag, who defeated former chief minister Naveen Patnaik from Kantabanji, and Remuna MLA Gobind Chandra Das are doing the rounds for the post of deputy speaker. Similarly, Badasahi MLA Sanatan Bijuli is likely to be the next government chief whip.

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