Senior BJP member Sumitra Mahajan is likely to be elected the next Lok Sabha Speaker on Friday. Given the fact that the BJP has a majority of its own in the House, she would be in all probability elected unopposed.
If everything goes by the script, she would be the second woman to occupy this office, the first being Meira Kumar. Mahajan, an eighth-term Lok Sabha member from Indore, had publicly maintained so far that she was not aware of any BJP move to pick her up for the post. However, sources in the BJP disclosed she had been sounded about the proposal by party president Rajnath Singh.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu told the media that “personally, I am in favour of the post of deputy speaker being given to the Opposition”. He did not specify whether it automatically qualified the Congress for the post or the BJP could offer it to the AIADMK, the Trinamool or the BJD, which could back the government on some crucial issues. Sources in the government said the post could go to Thambidurai of the AIADMK.
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Naidu said the swearing-in of members would be concluded Thursday and if needed, the House could sit longer. The election of the Speaker will be held as per the schedule on June 6, he added.