M Thambidurai, leader of the AIADMK in Parliament, was unanimously elected as Lok Sabha's deputy speaker on Wednesday, making him the first leader to occupy the post twice.
The 67-year-old AIADMK leader was elected to the post after a motion, moved by home minister Rajnath Singh
and seconded by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj supporting him, was carried by voice vote amid thumping of desks from all sides.
Thambidurai, who was deputy speaker from 1985 to 1989, was the only candidate to file nominations for the post before the Thursday deadline. Eleven parties in the ruling and the opposition benches including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress supported him.
A five-term member, Thambidurai represents Karur constituency in Tamil Nadu and his party is the second largest party in the opposition after the Congress.
While there were 12 other similar motions moved by leaders of Congress, Trinamool Congress, BJD, Shiv Sena, TDP, TRS, AIADMK, LJP and NCP, they became infructuous after the one moved by Rajnath Singh and Swaraj, "that Dr M Thambidurai, a member of this House, be chosen as the deputy speaker of this House", was adopted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Thambidurai as a "multi-faceted personality" and thanked all parties, especially those in the Opposition, to have made his unanimous election possible.
Modi said Thambidurai was not only an academician, but an activist and an agriculturist also and his rich parliamentary experience would guide the House on the correct path.
Leader of the Congress Mallikarjun Kharge, whose party has still not been given the post of the Leader of the Opposition, said Thambidurai was "large-hearted" and would help the Opposition to put forth its point of view.
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