Kanwar Pal Gujjar, the BJP MLA from Jagadhri, was unanimously elected the speaker of the 13th Haryana Vidhan Sabha here on Monday. It was Gujjar’s second stint in the Vidhan Sabha as BJP MLA, the first one being in 2000.
Proposed by parliamentary affairs minister Ram Bilas Sharma, the name of Gujjar (54) was seconded by finance minister Capt Abhimanyu.
His name instantly evoked warm greetings and welcome from not only the treasury benches but the Opposition too, with the INLD leader in House, Abhay Chautala, Congress’ Bhupinder Singh Hooda and former speaker Kuldeep Sharma too were seen thumping benches in support of the election.
The abovementioned Opposition leaders besides other MLAs across the party lines went up to Gujjar to greet and congratulate him. The women MLAs, however, separately congratulated Gujjar.
Welcoming and congratulating Gujjar, leader of the House and chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said Gujjar was not only neutral and focused but also soft-spoken. He said he was confident that the new speaker would enhance the esteem and grace of the institution of the speaker and give due time to the first-time MLAs.
Chautala, while welcoming the election of Gujjar, hoped that he would give due time to Opposition MLAs too, as neutrality was expected of him.
Stating that he too was hopeful of Gujjar bringing glory to the institution of speaker, Hooda said the new speaker should also try to increase the sittings of the House.
A large number of MLAs and ministers, including Ram Bilas Sharma, Capt Abhimanyu, OP Dhankar, Jai Prakash, Randhir Kapriwas, Bakhshish Singh Virk, Gian Chand Gupta, Jaswinder Singh Sandhu, Aseem Goel and Abhe Singh Yadav and Kiran Choudhry, also congratulated the speaker.
By electing Gujjar as the speaker, the BJP has also done a balancing act as he is from the backward community. The new chief minister has already given representation to Punjabis, Jats, Ahirs, Scheduled Castes, Baniya and Brahmin communities in his council of ministers.