Veteran Congress leader C.P. Joshi was on Wednesday elected unopposed as the Speaker of the Rajasthan Assembly. The House passed the motion for Mr. Joshi’s election to the post by a voice vote on the second day of its first session, after the formation of government by the Congress.
The five-time Congress MLA, elected in the 2018 Assembly polls from Rajsamand’s Nathdwara constituency, took over the chair from pro tem Speaker Gulab Chand Kataria, who will be the Leader of Opposition in the House.
Mr. Joshi, 68, was also an MP from Bhilwara in the 15th Lok Sabha and served as a Union Minister between 2009 and 2013.
The Congress’ top leadership had named Mr. Joshi for the Speaker’s post, while Jaipur’s Hawa Mahal MLA Mahesh Joshi was appointed chief whip of the party and Nagaur’s Nawan MLA Mahendra Choudhary the deputy chief whip. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot proposed the name of Mr. Joshi in the House and it was seconded by Mr. Kataria.
Mr. Gehlot said the State Assembly would benefit from Mr. Joshi's “rich experience and vast knowledge” of legislative rules, regulations, procedures and conventions both as a Parliamentarian and a State legislator. “I am confident that the new Speaker will take care of the feelings of all members of the House,” he said.
‘Utilise House time’
In his address to the Assembly, Mr. Joshi said he would work in an “unbiased manner” and maintain the dignity of the chair. “Every member will be given [an] opportunity to raise people’s voice and issues under the rules and regulations,” Mr. Joshi said, while calling upon the MLAs to optimally utilise the time of the House.
Mr. Joshi had also served as Education Minister in the Congress government headed by Mr. Gehlot in 1998. He lost the Nathdwara Assembly seat by one vote in 2008 when Mr. Gehlot formed the government in the State for the second term.