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3 I.N.D.I.A. MPs on panel to assist pro-tem Speaker considering declining position

The Opposition bloc is likely to announce the decision after further consultations in the next two days with the Congress alleging that party MP Suresh is the senior-most lawmaker and he was ignored because he was a Dalit. The government had denied the charges.
Last Updated : 22 June 2024, 09:52 IST

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New Delhi: Three I.N.D.I.A MPs named to assist Bhartruhari Mahtab in his duties as Protem Speaker of the new Lok Sabha are unlikely to take up the assignment in protest against the government not choosing senior most MP Kodikkunnil Suresh to the post, sources said on Saturday.

The Opposition bloc is likely to announce the decision after further consultations in the next two days with the Congress alleging that party MP Suresh is the senior-most lawmaker and he was ignored because he was a Dalit. The government had denied the charges.

On Thursday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju had announced that BJP MP Mahtab, a seven-term MP, will be the Protem Speaker and Suresh, DMK MP TR Baalu, Trinamool Congress’ Sudip Bandhyopadhyay and BJP’s Radha Mohan Singh and Faggan Singh Kulaste.

Opposition sources said the I.N.D.I.A partners are discussing among themselves about the next course of action. They said Suresh, Baalu and Bandhyopadhyay are unlikely to be part of the panel to assist Mahtab.

Congress is learnt to have decided to ask Suresh to keep away from the panel. Rijiju had defended the decision saying Mahtab had an uninterrupted seven terms as MP while Suresh does not have consecutive terms.

Opposition parties are viewing the exclusion of Suresh as a “confrontationist” message from the government. With its bench strength increasing, sources said, the Opposition is not going to back off.

Sources said they are awaiting the government's proposal on Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

The Opposition will demand that the post of Deputy Speaker be given to them, amid a section demanding that they should contest the post of Speaker if the government does not accommodate their demand.

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Published 22 June 2024, 09:52 IST

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