BJP names Om Birla as NDA candidate for LS Speaker, says Cong won’t oppose
Joshi said leaders of 10 other parties including the Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSRCP and Naveen Patnaik’s BJD had supported Om Birla’s name for the Speaker’s post.Updated: Jun 18, 2019 23:27 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday picked two-time MP Om Birla for the Lok Sabha Speaker’s post, with the Rajasthan leader appearing set to be elected unanimously following support from the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
The Kota MP was a surprise pick as the BJP leadership ignored several veteran leaders to choose the 56-year-old for the post that was previously held by Sumitra Mahajan, who did not contest this summer’s Lok Sabha election. The Speaker’s post has traditionally been held by senior MPs.
In a notice to the Lok Sabha secretariat, the BJP proposed Birla’s name for election to the Speaker’s post, asking that a motion be passed to hold the proceedings on Wednesday.
Birla won his first parliamentary election in 2014 and was re-elected this year from Rajasthan, a state that the BJP swept despite losing last year’s assembly elections. He is a three-term member of the Rajasthan assembly and is considered close to BJP president Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who has been picked as the Congress’s leader in the Lok Sabha, said the party and other allies in the UPA have decided to support Birla’s candidature. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said the Biju Janata Dal, YSR Congress Party, Janata Dal (United), Shiv Sena, Akali Dal, National People’s Party, Mizo National Front, Lok Janshakti Party, AIADMK and Apna Dal have given notices to support Birla’s name for the Speaker’s post.
The election for the Speaker of the Lok Sabha will be held on Wednesday followed by a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament on June 20, when President Ram Nath Kovind will deliver an address.
The first session of Parliament after the NDA’s massive victory in this summer’s Lok Sabha elections began on June 17 and is scheduled to conclude on July 26.