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Will contest for speaker's post if govt does not build consensus: NK Premachandran

On a day opposition leaders refused to be a part of the panel to assist the pro-tem speaker, the MP from the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) -- which is part of the I.N.D.I.A. bloc -- said the practice is that the government holds discussions to build consensus around the post of speaker.
Last Updated : 24 June 2024, 15:47 IST

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New Delhi: RSP MP NK Premachandran said on Monday that the opposition could field a candidate for the post of speaker if the government does not make any effort to build a consensus on its choice for the key position.

On a day opposition leaders refused to be a part of the panel to assist the pro-tem speaker, the MP from the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) -- which is part of the I.N.D.I.A. bloc -- said the practice is that the government holds discussions to build consensus around the post of speaker.

"Normal practice is that the government has to discuss with opposition parties to have a consensus candidate for speaker, though they have a majority. So far, nothing has come from the government. If there is no consensus, definitely we will contest for the posts of speaker and deputy speaker," Premachandran told PTI.

The BJP has begun consultations with its allies on the ruling National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) candidate for the speaker's post while the opposition I.N.D.I.A. bloc is considering its options and may force a contest to score political points, sources said on Monday, a day before the filing of nominations for the key position.

The NDA, which enjoys a clear majority in the Lok Sabha, gave little indication about its choice as it weighs its options and looks to deny the opposition any opportunity to mount a political attack.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader and Union minister K Rammohan Naidu told reporters that the alliance's leaders, including his party's president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, will take a decision on the matter, adding that no final decision has been conveyed to them yet.

Premachandran also slammed the government for appointing seven-term MP Bhartruhari Mahtab as pro-tem speaker, overlooking K Suresh of the Congress, who is in his eighth term in the Lower House.

"Pro-tem speaker ... It is a convention of the House that the senior-most member is nominated as pro-tem speaker. Only because K Suresh belongs to the opposition party, he was not nominated as pro-tem speaker. It is unfair and against convention," the RSP MP said.

"That is why we wanted to register our protest, that is why we have come with (copies of) the Constitution. No member from the opposition is in the panel," he said.

On Monday, Suresh, the DMK's TR Baalu and the TMC's Sudip Bandyopadhyay skipped taking oath as members of the panel of chairpersons to assist the pro-tem speaker.

Suresh later took oath as MP with other Congress members from Kerala.

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Published 24 June 2024, 15:47 IST

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