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BJP making all-out effort to ensure numbers for Speaker post

Sources in the BJP said Shah has also reached out to the leaders of NDA partners in Maharashtra. A senior BJP leader said that conversations in Maharashtra have been successful, with the allies from the state assuring their support for the Speaker’s post.
Last Updated : 23 June 2024, 21:44 IST

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Working round the clock to ensure enough numbers for the Lok Sabha Speaker post, the BJP, which had earlier deputed Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to build a consensus across parties including the Opposition and the allies alike, is also relying on Union Home Minister Amit Shah to bring on board some of the tougher NDA allies, especially the ones in Maharashtra. 

On Saturday, TDP supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu told party leaders that Shah had called him to discuss the Speaker’s election. Naidu told his MPs that the TDP didn't want the post, rebuffing speculations that the party might demand the crucial post. 

"Amit Shah called me on the election of Speaker. I told him that TDP does not want the post; our state only wants funds. The state is financially fragile and we need help," Naidu was quoted as saying by a party MP. 

Sources in the BJP said Shah has also reached out to the leaders of NDA partners in Maharashtra. A senior BJP leader said that conversations in Maharashtra have been successful, with the allies from the state assuring their support for the Speaker’s post. 

While several probable names were doing the rounds, a strong indication has emerged from within BJP circles that outgoing Speaker Om Birla will continue in the position.

Last week, Rajnath Singh had reached out to other NDA parties as well as Opposition parties. Additionally, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju has since talked to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and Trinamool Congress’s Sudip Bandopadhyay, besides meeting leaders from NDA allies from the Northeast. 

BJP leaders said they were confident of keeping the Speaker’s post within the party’s fold since the numbers are stacked in their favour. Party sources said that the BJP was also keen to give the deputy Speaker post to the TDP, especially after the fracas over choosing the pro tem Speaker. 

It remains unclear whether the Opposition bloc will contest the Speaker's or Deputy Speaker's positions.

While the Congress seems keen on a contest, not all I.N.D.I.A. bloc partners are on board yet.

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Published 23 June 2024, 21:44 IST

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