AAP suggests TDP, JD(U) ask for Speaker’s post, offers INDIA’s backing

Published - June 12, 2024 01:31 am IST - New Delhi

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday advised the Centre’s ruling coalition partners — Janata Dal (United) and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) — to get one of their leaders elected as the Lok Sabha Speaker to prevent any chances of a split in their ranks.

Sounding a cautionary note, AAP Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh said the BJP, which is leading the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre, has in the past engineered defections in several parties to augment its numbers in Parliament.

He said the allocation of portfolios to Ministers from smaller constituents of the NDA is also an indication of the BJP’s working style — the party has tried to make them “insignificant” partners despite needing their support after falling short of the majority mark in the Lok Sabha polls.

Mr. Singh said if a BJP MP becomes the Speaker, then it will pose three dangers to the country’s democracy.

“First, the Constitution will be ripped apart. Second, NDA constituents like the TDP, JD(U), JD(S), and RLD will be broken and merged with the BJP. Third, if any MP raised his voice against any arbitrary law of the government, then that member will be thrown out [of the Lok Sabha] by the marshals,” he said. “So, I urge the TDP and the JD(U) to push for the Speaker’s post to safeguard their interests, the Constitution and democracy.” 

Mr. Singh also said if the BJP does not support an MP from the two parties for the Speaker’s post, the TDP with its 16 MPs should field its own candidate, who should be supported by the parties that are part of the Opposition’s INDIA bloc.      

 “In that case, INDIA bloc members will have an important role to play to protect Indian democracy and its parliamentary traditions,” Mr. Singh said.

The BJP got 240 seats in the Lok Sabha poll, falling short of 32 seats to form the government on its own, making it dependent on the TDP and the JD (U) to achieve the majority mark of 272 in the 543-member Lok Sabha. Both parties have 16 and 12 members in the Lok Sabha respectively. 

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