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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Assembly Session: Opposition questions govt move to elect Deputy Speaker at end of term

BJP’s alliance partner Apna Dal has pitched in for an OBC or Dalit face for the deputy speaker’s post. The nominations for the deputy speaker would be received on October 17.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow |
October 15, 2021 5:37:19 am
Several ordinances, including the Uttar Pradesh Industrial Peace (Timely Payment of Wages) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021, are likely to tabled. The amendment proposes to replace a three-month sentence for violators with a “penalty of less than Rs 50,000”.

With the election of deputy speaker of House scheduled on the single-day Assembly session on October 18, the Opposition on Thursday mocked the BJP-led government for such an exercise after four and a half years of its rule. This will be the first such election in 14 years.

BJP’s alliance partner Apna Dal has pitched in for an OBC or Dalit face for the deputy speaker’s post. The nominations for the deputy speaker would be received on October 17.

A Business Advisory Committee meeting is also scheduled on the same day.

Several ordinances, including the Uttar Pradesh Industrial Peace (Timely Payment of Wages) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021, are likely to tabled. The amendment proposes to replace a three-month sentence for violators with a “penalty of less than Rs 50,000”.

The session is likely to be stormy as the Opposition plans to field its own candidate along with the BJP. While the ruling party may propose SP rebel leader Nitin Agrawal’s name, sources said that the SP may field an “OBC face” like Mahmodabad MLA Narendra Verma, a five-term MLA, who was with the BJP until 2012.

After the nomination forms reached offices of political parties on Thursday, they asked the state government why the election was not held earlier.

“What is the urgency? If it was felt that a deputy speaker was required for a better functioning of the House then why it was not done earlier. What is the need now after four-and-a-half years as there would be just about two months left,” asked Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhna Mishra, adding that if the ruling party was recommending some name, opposition leaders had not been consulted so far.

“Things would be clear on October 17, when nominations are placed,” she said.

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly and SP leader Ram Govind Chaudhary told The Indian Express that the one-day Assembly session was a “BJP tactic” to divert people’s attention from the “real issues”.

“The Samajwadi Party would decide its strategy after a discussion with the party president. But the fact remains that at a time when there is price rise, farmers’ protest, there is no scope for discussion in this session. As far as the election of deputy speaker is concerned, it has usually been done from opposition. But we have just been communicated today about the election,” said Chaudhary.

BSP Legislature Party leader Shah Alam alias Guddu Jamali said the party was yet to decide its response. “But even then, we find it difficult to understand the meaning of such an election so close to the Assembly polls… As far as we know, as per the tradition of the House, the deputy speaker is elected from Opposition and with their consent. No one has contacted us so far,” said Chaudhary.

Amidst Opposition criticism, Apna Dal (S) , a BJP alliance partner in the upcoming Assembly election, demanded that either an OBC or a Dalit MLA should be made the deputy speaker.

“OBCs and Dalits have played a significant role in the formation of the NDA governments in 2014 and 2019 and also in 2017 in the state. Thus, the Apna Dal demands that the deputy speaker should either be from the OBC or Dalit community,” Ashish Patel, the officiating president of Apna Dal, said, adding a candidate from either of the communities would send the right message before the polls.

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