Speculation Intensifies Ahead of Lok Sabha Speaker Election 2024

Preeti Bali / 7:27 am / June 17, 2024

With the election for the Lok Sabha Speaker fast approaching, attention is riveted on who will take up the prestigious role. The election is slated for June 26, just two days after the inaugural session of the 18th Lok Sabha begins.

Opposition Calls for Speaker from NDA Partners

The INDIA bloc, representing the Opposition, has advocated for the Lok Sabha Speaker position to be assigned to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), specifically the Janata Dal (United) and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

NDA Falls Short of Majority

The BJP, with 240 seats in the Lok Sabha, fell 32 seats short of the majority mark. This shortfall has elevated the roles of N. Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar, who secured 16 and 12 seats respectively, making them key figures in the formation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s third government.

Strategic Meeting of NDA Leaders

A strategic meeting was convened at the residence of Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, attended by BJP Chief JP Nadda, as reported by Aaj Tak. This meeting, held in preparation for the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha, reportedly focused on strategies to secure support from various opposition parties for the NDA’s candidates for Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

Opposition’s Strong Interest in Speaker Post

Opposition parties have shown significant interest in the Speaker’s role after a ten-year gap, indicating a willingness to apply pressure if not allotted the Deputy Speaker’s position. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) suggested that the TDP and JD(U) should decide on the Speaker from among their ranks to serve the interests of the Constitution and democracy.

Shiv Sena’s Position on TDP Candidate

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut expressed that all partners of the opposition INDIA bloc would support the ruling ally TDP if it nominates a candidate for the Lok Sabha Speaker election, according to PTI. Raut also commented on the BJP’s past behavior, alleging betrayal of its supporters.

Differing Stances Among NDA Allies

TDP national spokesperson Pattabhi Ram Kommareddy emphasized the need for a joint decision by NDA partners regarding the candidate. In contrast, JD(U) leader KC Tyagi indicated support for the BJP-nominated candidate, highlighting a rift within the NDA.

Historical Context of Speaker Elections

Reflecting on past events, during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government (1998-1999), TDP MP GMC Balayogi served as Speaker. The government, comprising 19 parties, faced a trust vote in 1999, losing by a single vote after AIADMK’s withdrawal of support. This incident is often recalled in discussions about coalition dynamics.

Om Birla on Speaker Selection

In the previous government, Om Birla from Kota held the Speaker position. However, the current administration has yet to finalize a candidate. Birla noted that the decision rests with political parties, not individuals, and also mentioned that the appointment of a Deputy Speaker is similarly a political decision.

Potential NDA Deputy Speaker

The Deputy Speaker’s position remained unfilled during the 17th Lok Sabha. In the 16th Lok Sabha, AIADMK MP M. Thambidurai held the role. Sources within the BJP have suggested that this time the Deputy Speaker might come from one of the NDA parties.

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