With the post of Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha lying vacant even a year after the 17th Lok Sabha was constituted, Congress leader in the Lower House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Wednesday wrote to Speaker Om Birla, asking him to adhere to the Constitutional mandate and elect a Deputy Speaker in the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament.
In his letter, Chowdhury wrote that “according to constitutional mandate the seat of the Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha should be filled either by election or consensus as early as it may after a new Lok Sabha is constituted”.
“More so, by convention the post of the deputy speaker is offered to (an) Opposition Party and instances are in galore. Both the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha are regarded as the Presiding Officer and Vice Presiding Officer of the House. Already a year has elapsed but still the Lok Sabha is deprived of having a Deputy Speaker, as if it appears a one-horn chair of the lower house,” he said.
Pointing out that the Rajya Sabha is set to elect its Deputy Chairman, he said “it is an opportune moment to elect the Deputy Speaker of lower house”.
“I would urge upon you that during monsoon season itself the Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha must be elected. I hope that this house will be adhering to the constitutional mandate under your guidance,” he wrote.
Congress sources argued that in the recent history of Parliament, the seat of Deputy Speaker has not remained vacant for such a long time. They pointed out that the Deputy Speaker was elected within three months of the constitution of the Lok Sabha during the UPA I and II. They said that even in the first term of the Narendra Modi government, AIADMK’s M Thambidurai was elected deputy Speaker three months after the 16th Lok Sabha was constituted.