Five-time Lok Sabha MP and leader of AIADMK in Parliament Munisamy Thambidurai was on Wednesday unanimously elected as the Lok Sabha’s Deputy Speaker, achieving the distinction of becoming the first person to be appointed to the post twice. Elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1984, Thambidurai had served as Deputy Speaker of the House from 1985-89.
The motion proposing his name was moved by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and seconded by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and was carried by voice vote. Twelve other motions proposing his name – from parties ranging from Trinamool Congress, Biju Janata Dal and Shiv Sena to Samajwadi Party, Nationalist Congress Party, Lok Janshakti Party and the Congress – thus became infructuous.
Once the House cleared his appointment as the Deputy Speaker, Prime Minister Narendra Modi walked up to him, gestured towards Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge to join him, and then escorted him to his designated seat in the House. The PM called Thambidurai “an academician, an activist and an agriculturist” and thanked all political parties, including those in Opposition for his unanimous election.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge hoped the new Deputy Speaker would take everybody along and would act justly in the discharge of his duties. SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said he would not face any trouble in running the House.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan praised Thambidurai for his intellect, wisdom and long parliamentary experience saying his election would definitely raise the prestige of the post. “I am confident that his guidance will go a long way in smooth conduct of the proceedings of the House… I am sure that our joint efforts will be to maintain and strengthen the traditions of our parliamentary democracy,” Mahajan said.
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Thanking AIADMK chief and Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa profusely, Thambidurai also expressed gratitude to the PM and said he would endeavour to be true to the task. Thambidurai also said he was deeply overwhelmed by the quantum of support his candidature had received.