NEW DELHI: Seven-time member of Parliament Karia Munda was unanimously elected Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha on Monday. His election, close on the heels of Meira Kumar being elected Speaker, was hailed by members as an articulation of the nation’s commitment to social justice.
A dozen nominations were filed in Mr. Munda’s favour. The motion was first moved by Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani and seconded by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh. The second motion was moved by Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee and seconded by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.
Subsequently, leaders representing other parties across the floor moved similar motions. As during the Speaker’s election, the Left parties, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Telugu Desam Party did not file nominations in his favour but were supportive of the motion.
Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad had filed a nomination but was not present to move his motion.
Hailing Mr. Munda’s election, the Prime Minister hoped that the spirit of accommodation seen in the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker would continue through the duration of the 15th Lok Sabha.
Mr. Mukherjee was glad that a 32-year-old unbroken tradition of having the Deputy Speaker from the Opposition – which began in 1977, the very year Mr. Munda entered the Lok Sabha – had been preserved with the unanimous election of Mr. Munda. This sentiment was echoed by Mr. Advani.
Communist Party of India leader Gurudas Dasgupta urged the government to translate the gesture of electing members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to the posts of Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively into effective state policy.
Mr. Munda was elected to the Lok Sabha from Khunti in Jharkhand on BJP ticket.