THE RULING NDA has fielded former minister and BJP MLA Vijay Kumar Sinha for the election to the Assembly Speaker’s post, pitching him against RJD MLA Awadh Bihari Choudhary, the opposition Mahagathbandhan candidate.
With numbers in favour of the NDA, this would be the first time a BJP legislator will occupy the Speaker’s post in the Bihar Assembly. Since 2005 polls, the JD(U) has been getting its MLAs to the post. While Uday Narayan Choudhary was Speaker for two terms (2005-2010 and 2010-2015), Vijay Kumar Choudhary was the Speaker between 2015 and 2020.
While names of BJP veteran Nand Kishore Yadav and Prem Kumar, both ministers in the previous government, had been doing rounds, top BJP leaders decided to maintain social balance in representation of key posts and chose Sinha, a four-time Lakhisarai MLA from the upper caste Bhumihar community.
A BJP leader said: “After having given Deputy Chief Minister posts to Renu Devi, an EBC leader, and Tarkishore Prasad, who belongs to OBC, it was only fair to give the Speaker’s position to an upper caste. Sinha is a veteran and has enough administrative experience.” Though the names of Nand Kishore Yadav and Prem Kumar were discussed, the party decided to give it to an upper caste candidate, the leader said.
The opposition RJD has decided to field five-time MLA Awadh Bihari Choudhary from Siwan. RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav said: “Choudhary has vast experience. There is general precedence that the ruling party or alliance has Speaker and Opposition has Deputy Speaker. But the Deputy Speaker position was kept vacant in the last Assembly.”
Deputy CMTarkishore Prasad said: “We expect the Opposition to support the NDA candidate as Speaker belongs to all parties.”
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