The Congress and its allies have decided to support NDA candidate Om Birla for the post of Speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary, who has been appointed the leader of the party in the lower house, said Tuesday.
Birla’s candidature was also backed by all NDA allies and other parties including the YSR Congress Party and the Biju Janata Dal, paving the way for his appointment. A motion for his election will be held on Wednesday.
BJD, YSRCP, JDU, Shiv Sena, Akali Dal, National People’s Party, Mizo National Front, Lok Janshakti Party, AIADMK and Apna Dal have given the notice to support Birla’s candidature for the Speaker’s post, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said.
Later, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the party and UPA allies have already moved a motion supporting the ruling party candidate for the post of Speaker of Lok Sabha. The decision was taken a meeting of the UPA allies in Parliament this evening, where the leaders also discussed the opposition strategy during the Parliament session, reported PTI.
Birla will replace outgoing Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan who did not contest the elections this time. He is a Member of Parliament in the 17th Lok Sabha from the Kota constituency in Rajasthan. He was re-elected for a second term after defeating Congress’s Ramnarayan Meena by a margin of 2.5 lakh votes. The NDA has proposed the 56-year-old’s name for the post of Speaker.
Before being elected to the Lok Sabha, Birla served three terms as a legislator in the Rajasthan Assembly. He was elected to the 12th, 13th and 14th state assemblies in 2003, 2008 and 2013 respectively.
The Congress and other opposition parties have, however, remain undecided on deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha post and are adopting a “wait and watch” policy.
Leaders of Congress and other UPA allies said they would await the government’s next move on the appointment of the deputy speaker, a post that traditionally goes to parties other than the ruling party. So far, the government has not given any indication on the post and the opposition is waiting for its move on the issue.
(Inputs from PTI)