UP assembly to elect deputy speaker on October 18

It’s official now
The UP assembly was constituted on March 14, 2017 and the end of its five-year term will mark the end of term of the new deputy speaker (HT File Photo)
The UP assembly was constituted on March 14, 2017 and the end of its five-year term will mark the end of term of the new deputy speaker (HT File Photo)
Published on Oct 14, 2021 12:43 AM IST
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By Umesh Raghuvanshi, Lucknow

It’s official now. The Uttar Pradesh assembly will elect Nitin Agarwal as its deputy speaker on October 18, with the new deputy speaker holding office for less than five months.

“Yes, Nitin Agarwal will be the choice for election to the post of deputy speaker of state assembly,” said Suresh Khanna, minister for finance and parliamentary affairs.

The state assembly was constituted on March 14, 2017 and the end of its five-year term will mark the end of term of the new deputy speaker.

“The Hon’ble Speaker has fixed the date of 18th October, 2021 for the election of Deputy Speaker of the seventeenth Vidhan Sabha of Uttar Pradesh. Accordingly this election will be held at the Vidhan Sabha hall, Lucknow on the 18th October, 2021 at 11AM,” said Pradeep Kumar Dubey, principal secretary, legislative assembly, Uttar Pradesh, in a press statement, here, on Wednesday.

Dubey further said the nomination papers to be obtained from his office may be submitted to him on October 17. “Any member of the house may nominate another member for this election by submitting the prescribed nomination paper, duly filled in, to the Principal Secretary, Vidhan Sabha, 11AM to 1PM, on 17th October 2021. Nomination forms may be obtained from the office of Principal Secretary Vidhan Sabha,” said Dubey.

As per tradition, the Deputy Speaker is elected from among the members of the main opposition party. Will Samajwadi Party member Nitin Agarwal be elected the deputy speaker of state assembly?

“I have no indication about my likely election to the post of deputy speaker. But if given any responsibility, I will perform duties to the best of my ability,” said Agarwal, who is being considered the frontrunner for the post. Along with his father, Naresh Agarwal, Nitin joined the BJP in 2018. The Samajwadi Party’s petition seeking disqualification of Nitin Agarwal was rejected recently.

“The Deputy Speaker can be elected from any political party, though traditionally, a member of an opposition party is elected to the post. It’s not late for the election of deputy speaker though the same should have been done much earlier. No Deputy Speaker was elected till the end of term of state assembly during the term of many assemblies in the past,” said Ammar Rizvi, who was UP assembly deputy speaker from September 28, 2001 to January 20, 2002.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who completes his five-year term on March 19, 2021, recently expanded his ministry by inducting seven new ministers. New ministers will be effectively in office for a few weeks as the Election Commission of India’s model code of conduct is likely to come into force in the last week of December 2021 or early in January 2022.

Will the opposition support the move? “We are not aware of the agenda of the assembly session. A meeting of the business advisory committee has been apparently convened on October 17, 2021. As per tradition, the deputy speaker is elected from the main opposition party. The election is done in consultation with leaders of opposition parties. If they want to elect a member of Samajwadi Party as the deputy speaker they would have consulted our leadership,” said leader of opposition, Ram Govind Chaudhary.

“We are not aware of the state assembly’s agenda so far. We will take a call once the agenda is finalised,” said Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhna Mishra ‘Mona’.

The state government, meanwhile, proposes to table replacing bills to the ordinances that have been promulgated by the governor after the last session of the state assembly.

“Everything is being done keeping in view forthcoming assembly elections. Rajesh Agarwal was dropped as minister for finance earlier. The BJP government wants to appease the ‘bania’ community and the likely election of Nitin Agarwal as deputy speaker is a move in the same direction,” said Professor SK Dwivedi, former head of department, political science, Lucknow University.

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Saturday, October 23, 2021