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BJP deploys Rajnath Singh to build consensus on Speaker post

Though the BJP has been tight-lipped about possible names, the probability of outgoing Speaker Om Birla continuing in his position can not be ruled out.
Last Updated : 17 June 2024, 19:25 IST

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New Delhi: Keeping in mind the changed numbers of the new Lok Sabha, the BJP is working to build a consensus for the election of the Speaker’s post among alliance partners as well as the Opposition parties by deploying one of its senior most faces – Union Defence minister Rajnath Singh. 

The legislative agenda for the Special Session, which will convene on July 24, will be to swear-in the newly-elected members of Parliament, as well as elect the Speaker. Opposition leaders under the I.N.D.I.A. bloc are set to meet this week to discuss the Speaker’s election, Congress sources said that a Dalit and/or woman face could emerge as a candidate. 

Sources in the BJP said that Singh has been tasked with reaching out to several leaders across the board to ensure that there is no contest for the top post, a position that the BJP is keen to keep for itself. Despite the move, it seems unlikely that the government will convene an all-party meeting, since this session is only a special session, a senior party leader said. 

Though the BJP has been tight-lipped about possible names, the probability of outgoing Speaker Om Birla continuing in his position can not be ruled out. On Sunday, union parliamentary affairs minister Kiren Rijiju called on Birla in his residence. 

The changed numbers also mean that the House will have a Deputy Leader for the first time as well as accord the Congress with the Leader of the Opposition post. 

After the House convenes on June 24, a pro-term Speaker will be elected who will conduct the swearing-in of the new members. Some of the senior MPs with seven or eight terms within the NDA are Faggan Singh Kulaste, Radha Mohan Singh, Bhatruhari Mahtab and Mansukhbhai Vasava. Among the I.N.D.I.A. bloc, the senior names include Kodikunnil Suresh and TR Baalu. 

On June 26, the prime minister will move the name of the NDA’s candidate for Speaker. The proposal is likely to be seconded by as many as 10 BJP leaders, including Singh. Once the Speaker is elected, then Rijiju will thank the Pro-term Speaker and the Speaker will start conducting the House. The prime minister is likely to address the House after the election. 

A meeting of the NDA parties is slated to take place On June 22 or 23. The BJP, which had enjoyed a majority in the House in the last two terms, has 240 MPs this term and is dependent on its allies – TDP and JDU – who have 16 and 12 MPs respectively to reach the majority mark. 

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Published 17 June 2024, 19:25 IST

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