Who will be the new Speaker? NDA allies to meet before Lok Sabha session to take a call on its Speaker candidate

While the JD(U) has stated that a BJP claim on the post would be respected by them, the TDP has spoken of a consensus ‘NDA candidate’

Updated - June 18, 2024 12:22 pm IST

Published - June 16, 2024 05:54 pm IST

The ruling NDA likely to meet on June 22 or June 23 to decide the alliance’s candidate for the Lok Sabha Speaker post. 

The ruling NDA likely to meet on June 22 or June 23 to decide the alliance’s candidate for the Lok Sabha Speaker post.  | Photo Credit: ANI

The announcement of the date for the election of a new Speaker for the Lok Sabha has set off speculation over who could occupy that role come June 26, with National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners likely to meet around June 22 or June 23 to decide the alliance’s candidate.

While the Janata Dal-United (JD (U)) has stated that a BJP claim on the post would be respected by them, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is speaking of a consensus “NDA candidate”.

Sanjay Raut’s overture

Matters were complicated by Shiv Sena-Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut, who said that the Opposition INDIA bloc will support the the TDP’s choice if the party decided to field a candidate for the Lok Sabha Speaker’s election.

Mr. Raut said that the Opposition’s support would be forthcoming, apprehending alleged designs by the BJP to break the parties of its allies to shore up its own numbers. “I hear the TDP wants to field its candidate. If that happens, INDIA bloc partners will discuss the issue and will try to ensure that all the INDIA (Indian National Democratic, Inclusive Alliance) partners extend support to the TDP,” he said.

He added that the Opposition should get the Deputy Speaker’s post in accordance with the rules, with the Lok Sabha not having had a Deputy Speaker for the past five years. All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) MP Thambidurai had held the post between 2014-19, but the party had been part of the NDA grouping.

Explained |What are the Lok Sabha Speaker’s powers and why are BJP allies vying for the post?

Sources in the TDP told The Hindu that the BJP “had been consultative so far” and they expected this attitude to continue. TDP sources also confirmed that the name of Daggubatti Purandareshwari was making the rounds, as was the name of Bhratruhari Mahtab, a multiple-term member earlier with the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and now with the BJP. “We are yet to formally discuss it, though,” the source said.

The JD(U) didn’t have any such misgivings. “The position of the Lok Sabha Speaker is the most dignified post of the House. The ruling party has the first right on the seat. The demands and statements of the INDIA alliance are objectionable. We believe that the BJP is the big party of the NDA. I have been in the NDA for 35 years. The BJP never tried to break any party. We will never try to weaken the NDA,” JD(U) spokesperson K.C. Tyagi said.

Om Birla to continue as the Speaker?

Going by the mood of continuity exhibited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in repeating nearly all the Ministers from his previous tenure in the current iteration of his government, there is also talk that the incumbent Speaker, Om Birla, could also be repeated. “Birla-ji became the first Speaker in two decades to be voted back into the Lok Sabha. The last one to do that was P.A. Sangma of the NCP (Nationalist Congress Party), in 1998, after he had held the Speaker’s post in the 11th Lok Sabha,” a source in the government said.

The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha is to be held between June 24-July 3. With new MPs to be sworn in on June 24 and 25, the election of a new Speaker for the Lok Sabha would be held on June 26. President Droupadi Murmu will address a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament on June 27, with the House debating the motion of thanks thereafter.

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