Opposition may field South MP for Lok Sabha Speaker’s position : The Tribune India

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Opposition may field South MP for Lok Sabha Speaker’s position

Opposition may field South MP for Lok Sabha Speaker’s position

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Tribune News Service

Animesh Singh

New Delhi, June 10

Amid speculations that the TDP and the JD(U), new NDA allies, are lobbying hard for the Lok Sabha Speaker’s post, it is reliably learnt that the opposition INDIA bloc may put up a candidate for the key position and also seek the support of the TDP and the JD(U) for its nominee.

If this happens, it will be for the first time in over two decades that there will be an election for the LS Speaker’s post. In the previous four Lok Sabhas, there has been a consensus between the treasury benches and the Opposition over the Speaker’s post.

Sources said a buoyed INDIA bloc, which had 232 members in the new 18th Lok Sabha as against the NDA’s 293 (of which the BJP has 240), was seriously contemplating putting up a nominee for the post.

A veteran MP from the South, who has been re-elected for the seventh term, is being considered as the Opposition nominee for the post, it is learnt.

In the previous 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th Lok Sabhas, all nominees for the Speaker’s post — Somnath Chatterjee, Meira Kumar, Sumitra Mahajan and Om Birla — were from the ruling alliance or party, and were elected unanimously by the House without any election.

The Speaker’s post is constitutional and demands neutrality, the holder being the custodian of the House.

The convention has been for the ruling party to propose a nominee for the Speaker’s post and the Lok Sabha cutting across party lines electing that nominee.

Considering the significance of the Speaker’s post during situations when splits are engineered in political parties and the anti-defection law comes into play, both the TDP and the JD(U) are keen on having their own nominee for the Speaker’s post, who may act as a cover in case any such situation arises.

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