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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Om Birla Elected Speaker of Lok Sabha

National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Om Birla was elected Speaker of the House on Wednesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi moved the motion for his election in the Lok Sabha. Birla received congratulations from Modi, Leader of the Opposition Rahul Gandhi, and various leaders from both the NDA and the opposition.

The Opposition had earlier moved the motion to elect Congress leader K Suresh as the Lok Sabha speaker. But it was discarded after the House adopted the Prime Minister’s motion following a voice vote.

The election to the Lok Sabha speaker post took place for the first time in decades as the BJP-led NDA government and the Congress-led INDIA opposition couldn’t agree on a candidate. Elections to the post have been held only three times so far: in 1952, 1967, and 1976.

Traditionally, the Lok Sabha Speaker and Deputy Speaker have been chosen by consensus between the ruling party and the opposition. This contest featured BJP’s Om Birla, a three-time MP from Kota, Rajasthan, against Congress’ Kodikunnil Suresh, an eight-term MP from Mavelikara, Kerala, and the longest-serving parliamentarian in the 18th Lok Sabha.

Both the ruling BJP and the main opposition Congress Party had issued directives to their members, requiring their presence in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

On the first day of the 18th Lok Sabha session, 262 newly elected MPs, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were sworn in. Today, the remaining 281 new MPs, including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, will take oath.

Latest highlights on Lok Sabha speaker election:

  • The NDA rejected the INDIA bloc’s request to have the Deputy Speaker position in exchange for their support to the NDA candidate.
  • Initially, the INDIA bloc asked for the Deputy Speaker role. However, since the BJP did not clarify its stance, the INDIA bloc has nominated Congress MP K Suresh for the Speaker’s position.
  • K Suresh, from the INDIA bloc, is the longest-serving Lok Sabha MP, with 29 years of service. He won his eighth Lok Sabha election from Mavelikkara (Kerala) in 2024, having previously represented the seat four times. Apart from his parliamentary roles, K Suresh holds important positions in the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), where he serves as the working-president. He was also the chief whip of the Congress Parliamentary Party during the 17th Lok Sabha.
  • President Droupadi Murmu will address both houses of Parliament on June 27. After her address, both houses will discuss and pass the motion of thanks. PM Modi will respond to this discussion in both houses next week.

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