Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Santosh Yadav has been elected the deputy speaker of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha.
Yadav, a 59-year-old first-time legislator from Ateli assembly constituency, is the 14th deputy speaker of the Haryana assembly, but only the third woman to have held the post so far.
On Friday, soon after the question hour was over in the assembly, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar proposed Yadav’s name for the post, saying his party had the “utmost respect” for women.
Parliamentary affairs and education minister Ram Bilas Sharma seconded Khattar.
Besides the treasury benches, Yadav’s nomination was also backed by Leader of Opposition and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Abhay Singh Chautala besides many independent MLAs.
Congress Legislature Party leader Kiran Choudhry, however, expressed reservations and said the deputy speaker should have instead been selected from the Opposition.
Congress MLA from Ferozepur Jhirka, Azad Mohammad, remained deputy speaker from March 21, 2005, to August 21, 2009, when his party was in power in the state.
Yadav, who belongs to Kuksi village of Mahendragarh district, has a master’s degree in English. She also studied Law at Panjab University in 1992.
The first woman deputy speaker of Haryana assembly, Shanno Devi, held the post only for a month till December 5, 1966.
The second, Lekhwati Jain, was in the chair from July 22, 1968, till January 21, 1972, and then again from April 5, 1972, till April 30, 1977.