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I.N.D.I.A. may field 'Ayodhya' MP Awadhesh Prasad in Deputy Speaker election

So far, the government has not indicated a schedule for the election of Deputy Speaker, a post which remained vacant throughout the previous 17th Lok Sabha.
Last Updated : 30 June 2024, 02:05 IST

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New Delhi: The Opposition I.N.D.I.A. bloc is mulling on fielding Samajwadi Party MP Awadhesh Prasad, in the Deputy Speaker election whenever it happens as part of an “out-of-box” decision with “strong symbolism”. Awadhesh represents the Faizabad parliamentary seat in which Ayodhya is located.

So far, the government has not indicated a schedule for the election of Deputy Speaker, a post which remained vacant throughout the previous 17th Lok Sabha, even as there were indications that the ruling BJP is not inclined to offer the seat to the Opposition but keep it within the NDA fold.

The I.N.D.I.A. parties, which have contested the Speaker’s post after the government did not commit to giving the Opposition the Deputy Speaker’s post, have already decided to field a candidate in the election. Sources said the election for the Deputy Speaker is unlikely in the ongoing session.

Sources said the Opposition plans to field a candidate with strong political and symbolic credentials and top Parliamentary floor leaders like Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi, Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav and Trinamool Congress’ Abhishek Banerjee have held informal discussions.

The name of Prasad, a Dalit who won from Faizabad and is popularly known as Ayodhya MP, was suggested by West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, sources said. His victory over BJP’s sitting MP Lallu Singh by 54,567 votes made headlines as the Opposition attacked the BJP saying it could win the seat despite opening Ram temple.

One of the names that were suggested is SP’s Prasad, a Dalit who won from Faizabad and is popularly known as Ayodhya MP. His victory over BJP’s sitting MP Lallu Singh by 54,567 votes made headlines as the Opposition attacked the BJP saying it could win the seat despite opening Ram temple.

A senior Opposition leader said if the name is finalised, it would be a strong powerful message though I.N.D.I.A. may not be able to get him elected owing to the number game. He was also a Dalit who fought from a general seat and won.

NDA has 293 MPs while the I.N.D.I.A. bloc has 236 seats. Nine MPs from six parties and four independents are not part of any bloc.

Sources said senior Congress MP Kodikunnil Suresh may not be chosen to fight as he has already contested the Speaker’s election and it would not be proper to field him again for a post, which is below Speaker’s post.

DH on Saturday reported that Trinamool Congress has already conveyed to Congress, DMK, Samajwadi Party and Shiv Sena (UBT) that their 29 Lok Sabha MPs need not be considered for being the candidate, as they are open to a candidate from any other I.N.D.I.A. party.

The parties have also decided to write to Speaker Om Birla to conduct election to the post of Deputy Speaker at the earliest.

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Published 30 June 2024, 02:05 IST

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