Lok Sabha Speaker post: Rumblings of dissent force I.N.D.I.A. to abort move on seeking division of votes

Trinamool Congress was at loggerheads with Congress over not being properly consulted over choosing Suresh as the I.N.D.I.A candidate.
Last Updated : 27 June 2024, 02:31 IST

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New Delhi: All preparations were made by the I.N.D.I.A. bloc to demand a division of votes during the election of Lok Sabha Speaker but reservations expressed by some sections compelled the Opposition bloc to abort any such move fearing that it would expose the differences within.

Congress "briefed" its MPs at its party office in Parliament about the process of voting in the House as they waited for a signal from the Trinamool Congress which had conveyed that it would inform them about its stand on whether to go for a voice vote or division of votes.

The I.N.D.I.A. bloc had fielded Kodikunnil Suresh against NDA's Om Birla after the government refused to accede to the demand to give the deputy speaker post to the Opposition.

While Trinamool sources said they conveyed to Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi that they would go with any decision taken by the Congress — either voice vote or division of votes  — Congress sources said the Mamata Banerjee-led party had conveyed its reluctance for going in for a vote. 

After receiving instructions from Mamata Banerjee, Trinamool MPs, including Kalyan Banerjee, told other Opposition leaders that the numbers were not on their side while suspecting that the NDA's numbers would increase with YSR Congress and some MPs from the Northeast supporting it.

Trinamool leaders told Rahul and other leaders that it was not the best strategy to insist on voting owing to the numbers. 

With Trinamool conveying its decision just 30 minutes before the Lok Sabha proceedings commenced, sources said Rahul had a consultation with Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav and DMK’s TR Baalu where they decided not to create a situation that would expose differences in the group.

Congress sources said Rahul wanted all on board and amid different viewpoints, he instructed Congress MPs not to push for the division of votes.

However, after the Speaker election, Trinamool Congress general secretary and MP Abhishek Banerjee criticised pro tem Speaker Bhartruhari Mahtab for not acceding to the demand of the Opposition MPs for a division of votes. 

"This is a clear testament to the fact that the ruling dispensation, here in the case of the BJP, does not have the numbers. This government is running without numbers, it is illegal, immoral, unethical and unconstitutional,” he added.

Trinamool Congress was at loggerheads with Congress over not being properly consulted over choosing Suresh as the I.N.D.I.A candidate.

Chief whip of the Congress in Rajya Sabha, Jairam Ramesh said the opposition bloc could have demanded the division of votes but they didn't do so. "Voice vote was taken. Thereafter, I.N.D.I.A parties could have insisted on division. They did not do so. This is because they wanted a spirit of consensus and cooperation to prevail,  a spirit singularly lacking in the actions of the prime minister and the NDA.”

Published 27 June 2024, 02:31 IST

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