If opposition forces an election for Lok Sabha Speaker, it would be first such instance in independent India : The Tribune India

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If opposition forces an election for Lok Sabha Speaker, it would be first such instance in independent India

Consensus has prevailed on Lok Sabha Speaker’s choice since Independence

If opposition forces an election for Lok Sabha Speaker, it would be first such instance in independent India

The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha will begin on June 24 during which new members of the Lower House will take oath and the Speaker will be elected. File photo



PTI

New Delhi, June 17

If the opposition forces an election to the post of Speaker of the Lok Sabha next week, it would be the first such instance in the history of Independent India as the presiding officer has always been chosen by a consensus.

Elections to the post of the Speaker of the Central Legislative Assembly, as Parliament was called in the pre-Independence days, were held for the first time on August 24, 1925 when Swarajist Party nominee Vitthalbhai J Patel won the coveted post against T Rangachariar.

Patel, the first non-official member to be elected as the Speaker, won the maiden election with a narrow margin of two votes. Patel had polled 58 votes against 56 garnered by Rangachariar.

Buoyed by its increased strength in the Lok Sabha, the opposition INDIA bloc is now aggressively demanding the post of the Deputy Speaker, which by convention is held by a member of an opposition party.

"We will force a contest for the post of Lok Sabha Speaker if the government does not agree to have an opposition leader as Deputy Speaker," a senior Congress leader said.

The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha will begin on June 24 during which new members of the Lower House will take oath and the Speaker will be elected.

The INDIA bloc won 233 seats in the Lok Sabha elections, while the BJP-led NDA won 293 seats to retain power for the third consecutive term. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) with 16 seats and Janata Dal (U) with 12 seats are the biggest allies of the BJP which won 240 seats.

The opposition bloc is also egging on BJP ally TDP to insist on the post of the Lok Sabha Speaker or face gradual disintegration of the party.

"We have the experience that the BJP betrays the people who support it," Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut said in Mumbai on Sunday.

The JD(U) has declared support for a BJP candidate as the Lok Sabha Speaker, while the TDP is understood to have favoured a consensus candidate for the coveted post.

The post of the Speaker of the Central Legislative Assembly has witnessed a contest on six occasions between 1925 and 1946.

Since Independence, Lok Sabha Speakers have been chosen by consensus, and only MA Ayyangar, GS Dhillon, Balram Jakhar and GMC Balayogi have been re-elected to the coveted posts in the subsequent Lok Sabhas.

Ayyangar, the first Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha, was chosen as the Speaker following the death of GV Mavalankar in 1956. He won the 1957 general election and was chosen as the Speaker of the second Lok Sabha.

Dhillon was chosen as the Speaker of the fourth Lok Sabha after the resignation of incumbent N Sanjeeva Reddy in 1969. Dhillon was also chosen as the Speaker of the fifth Lok Sabha in 1971 and continued in office till December 1, 1975, when he quit during the Emergency.

Jakhar was Speaker of the seventh and the eighth Lok Sabhas and holds the distinction of being the only presiding officer to complete two full terms.

Balayogi was chosen as the Speaker of the 12th Lok Sabha, which had a tenure of 19 months. He was also chosen as the Speaker of the 13th Lok Sabha on October 22, 1999, till his death in a chopper crash on March 3, 2002. 

#Lok Sabha


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