LS Speaker election | Congress, TMC spar over whether I.N.D.I.A. called for division of votes

This comes after Trinamool expressed its displeasure with the Congress on Tuesday over not having proper consultation over choosing Kodikunnil Suresh as the I.N.D.I.A. bloc candidate for the Speaker's election.
Last Updated : 26 June 2024, 08:54 IST

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New Delhi: Congress and Trinamool Congress on Wednesday contradicted each other on whether the I.N.D.I.A sought a division of votes for the Lok Sabha Speaker's election with the former saying the bloc did not insist on voting while the latter insisted that several MPs demanded it but were ignored by a “running without numbers”.

BJP MP Om Birla was elected as the Speaker for the second consecutive term through a voice vote on the motion moved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Three Opposition motions seeking to choose Kodikunnil Suresh were not taken up as Birla's election was confirmed with the first motion itself.

Trinamool Congress General Secretary and MP Abhishek Banerjee told reporters, “The rule says that if any member asks for division, the Protem Speaker, in this case, has to allow it. You can clearly see and hear from the footage that several members of the Opposition sought for a division but the motion was adopted without the motion being put to vote.”

“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.

However, Congress General Secretary (Communications) and Rajya Sabha Chief Whip Jairam Ramesh said the I.N.D.I.A parties exercised their democratic right and moved motions in support of Kodikunnil Suresh as Lok Sabha Speaker.

“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," Ramesh posted on X.

Some other Opposition parties like Shiv Sena (UBT), RSP and Samajwadi Party said there were no demands for voting.

Trinamool Congress was at loggerheads with the Congress over not being properly consulted over choosing Suresh as the I.N.D.I.A candidate for the Speaker's election while claiming that it was not told about the change in decision of not contesting the polls owing to the number game.

However, Trinamool did not rock the boat and conveyed to Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi just 30 minutes before the Lok Sabha assembled that they will support any decision – either voice vote or division of votes – taken by the Congress.

This was contradicted by another section in the Opposition, which claimed that Trinamool was against division of votes. This led to Akhilesh Yadav and TR Baalu holding a discussion with Rahul and then deciding not to press for division of votes.

The thaw came after the “gracious act” by Rahul Gandhi to reach out to Trinamool top leaders Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee after knowing about uneasiness over the Speaker’s election. Trinamool sources said Rahul first spoke to Abhishek in Lok Sabha and then spoke to Mamata.

During the conversations, sources said, Rahul also indicated that he would be the Leader of Opposition and sought their views. Both the top leaders welcomed the decision, they said.

Published 26 June 2024, 08:54 IST

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