Five-time MLA and former minister Dr Rajeev Bindal (62) was elected Speaker of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly after the House unanimously adopted a proposal to this effect moved by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
The Opposition led by Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Mukesh Agnihotri and former CM Virbhadra Singh also endorsed his name, facilitating a smooth election.
Dr Bindal was escorted to the Chair by the CM and and CLP leader amid applause by the new House. Dr Bindal has been a member of the House for the past 17 years since 2000, when he got elected from Solan in bypoll. Dr Bindal was re-elected from Nahan in 2017 for the second time.
Jai Ram Thakur recalled him as a social activist and a popular medical professional in Solan area, besides being health minister in the previous BJP government.
Agnihotri told Dr Bindal that his role had changed now as Speaker who would be called upon to do justice and maintain high standards and parliamentary practices.
In his speech, Dr Bindal spoke of values he acquired from former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and assured the House of maintaining standards and protecting rights of each member within the rules and House norms.
Dr Bindal, who has been associated with the RSS, was also jailed during the Emergency and was lodged at Karnal jail for four-and-a-half months.
Hans Raj, a two-time MLA from Churah in Chamba district, will be Deputy Speaker of the state Assembly. He is likely to be elected by the House on Thursday.