Is being Dalit reason behind ignoring 7-term Karnataka MP for Pro-tem Speaker post? Congress takes dig at BJP

The choice of Pro-tem Speaker has become a matter of confrontation between the government and the Opposition.
Last Updated : 23 June 2024, 15:07 IST

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New Delhi: Finding fault with the argument not to select eight-term MP Kodikkunnil Suresh as Pro-tem Speaker, Congress General Secretary (Communications) Jairam Ramesh on Sunday asked whether being Dalit was the reason behind ignoring seven-term Karnataka MP Ramesh Jigajinagi for the post and chosing Bhartruhari Mahtab for the post.

The choice of Pro-tem Speaker has become a matter of confrontation between the government and the Opposition with the former claiming that they chose Mahtab as he had consecutive seven terms while Suresh had eight terms but not consecutive.

"Suresh should have been Speaker Pro-tem. But Bhartruhari Mahtab of the BJP has been appointed on the flimsy grounds that he has greater claim because this is his 7th consecutive term. If this argument is adopted, then why has Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi, a BJP MP who is also in his 7th consecutive term, not been considered? Is it because he is a Dalit like Suresh?” Ramesh posted on 'X'.

Congress had alleged that Suresh was ignored because he was a Dalit.

Referring to Jigajinagi’s comments last year that “it is difficult for Dalits to rise to the top in BJP”, Ramesh added, “Mr Jigajinagi’s words are validated yet once again.”

Jigajnagi and Mahtab were MPs since 1998, while Suresh had a break in 1998 and 2004. Suresh had been an MP from elections in 1989, 1991, 1996, 1999, 2009, 2014, 2019 and 2024.

While the government has accused the Congress of "unnecessarily politicising" the issue, the Opposition parties have decided that their three MPs, including Suresh, who have been appointed to assist Mahtab, will not take up the job.

Published 23 June 2024, 15:07 IST

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