Om Birla vs K Suresh: What does the Congressp-led opposition hope to achieve with Lok Sabha Speaker election? | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Om Birla vs K Suresh: What does the Congressp-led opposition hope to achieve with Lok Sabha Speaker election?

Jun 25, 2024 04:45 PM IST

National Democratic Alliance and opposition INDIA bloc failed to arrive at a consensus for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker posts in the Lok Sabha.

The Speaker of 18th Lok Sabha will be appointed through a rare election after the INDIA bloc decided to field its own candidate for the post. The previous Speaker and BJP leader Om Birla will be contesting against Congress party’s veteran leader and eight-time parliamentarian K Suresh for the coveted post on June 26.

New Delhi: BJP MP Om Birla at the Parliament House complex during the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha, in New Delhi, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (PTI)
New Delhi: BJP MP Om Birla at the Parliament House complex during the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha, in New Delhi, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. (PTI)

This has come after the ruling National Democratic Alliance and opposition INDIA bloc failed to arrive at a consensus for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker posts. 

The BJP has 240 MPs in the Lok Sabha. Its partners such as the Janata Dal (United) or JD(U), the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Shiv Sena, Lokjanshakti Party (Ram Vilas) and ten other others have 53 members, critical to the bloc's majority in the House.

On the other hand, the INDIA bloc has 234 seats, with the Congress having 99 members, a marked improvement from the previous two general elections, where the party struggled to cross 50 seats.

Read: ‘Hypocrisy-laden…’: Congress attacks PM over consensus remark amid Lok Sabha Speaker row

Going by the numbers, Om Birla is expected to be re-elected as Speaker, but political commentators say the election for the post is all about principles for the opposition parties.

“It is a battle of principles for the opposition as the Indian parliament was working on majoritarian rule. The opposition was not given the post of Deputy Speaker, which already had no leader of opposition. Moreover, the Speaker was also partisan, who suspended many MPs for raising their voices. In fact, he refused to preside over the proceedings on several occasions,” said political analyst Manisha Priyam.

The Deputy’s chair is traditionally reserved for an opposition MP to ensure a balanced House, but it remained vacant during the second term of the Modi government.

During Narendra Modi’s first tenure as Prime Minister, it was assigned to BJP’s ally AIADMK.

She said the opposition definitely doesn’t have numbers, but it is conveying a message that the ruling government is not accommodative.

“PM Modi had recently given a statement that consensus is important and everyone will be taken along for country’s welfare, but the government did not give up the Deputy Speaker’s post when opposition had agreed for Om Birla as Speaker. The opposition wants to show that it tried, but government did not consider their requests,” Priyam added. 

The situation will affect the BJP politically and it also shows that the upcoming budget session will be stormy. Opposition has received a strong public support in the recently concluded general election, said Manisha Priyam.

Another political commentator, Rasheed Kidwai said the ruling NDA doesn’t want to cede any space to the opposition and continue with its supremacy at the Centre.

“This is unprecedented. Earlier, election to the coveted post has taken place in 1946. Both the NDA and INDIA bloc are still in election mode, BJP wants to show its supreme even if its not in power with absolute majority, while the Congress wants to put it clear that ruling party is anti-Dalit and didn’t support Congress’s K Suresh as Deputy Speaker.”

In response to opposition's decision to field its candidate for the Speaker's post, BJP MP Sanjay Jaiswal said, “The NDA alliance has always believed that the Speaker should be elected with consensus from all parties. We urge opposition parties to unanimously elect the Speaker. The election for the Speaker's post should not be subjected to terms and conditions. The Lok Sabha Speaker does not belong to any specific party.”

 

 

 

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