Lok Sabha Speaker Election: A High-Stakes Showdown

Lok Sabha speaker election ,Om Birla, K Suresh
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Today marks a significant event in the Lok Sabha, as the election for the post of Speaker unfolds. This rare occurrence has the Opposition re-energized and ready to challenge the NDA’s nominee, while the government, holding a numerical advantage, seeks to secure a definitive victory.

The contenders for the prestigious role are BJP’s Om Birla, a seasoned three-time MP and the Speaker of the previous Lok Sabha, and Congress’s K Suresh, an eight-term MP. The BJP’s choice of Mr. Birla emphasizes their desire for continuity in the position.

The Speaker’s election is determined by a simple majority, factoring in the MPs present and voting. Notably, seven MPs—five from the Opposition and two Independents—are yet to take their oaths and therefore cannot participate in the voting process.

In terms of numbers, the Opposition holds 232 seats, while the NDA boasts 293 MPs. Additionally, the NDA is counting on the support of the four MPs from YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress to bolster their position.

The scene was set for this high-stakes election on Tuesday, when the Congress, just ten minutes before the noon deadline, decided to field K Suresh. This move came in response to the BJP dismissing their aspirations for the Pro Tem Speaker and Deputy Speaker roles. Initially, Congress had hoped that Mr. Suresh, the most senior MP in the Lok Sabha, would be appointed as Pro Tem Speaker, a position that ultimately went to the BJP’s Bhartruhari Mahtab.

On Tuesday morning, while seeking consensus for Om Birla, the government clarified that they were not considering a Deputy Speaker post at this time, nor were they acknowledging the Opposition’s claim to it.

Rahul Gandhi of Congress expressed his frustration, stating, “Rajnath Singh called Mallikarjun Kharge and asked him to extend support… the entire Opposition said we will support but convention is Deputy Speaker should be from our side. Rajnath Singh said he would call back… but he has not yet… PM is asking for cooperation but our leader is getting insulted.”

Tuesday evening saw parallel meetings in both camps. Union Home Minister Amit Shah convened with NDA allies, while the Opposition Bloc gathered at Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge’s residence. Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress initially disapproved of forcing a contest but later aligned with the decision and declared support for K Suresh.

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju made a final plea for a consensus candidate, saying, “For the last two days, we have been in contact with main Opposition parties, talked to their floor leaders regarding the post of Speaker… We want the Speaker to be elected unopposed and through consensus.”

As the election unfolds, all eyes are on the Lok Sabha, awaiting the outcome of this pivotal contest.

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