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New Lok Sabha Speaker? Big Questions Looms in Modi 3.0, BJP and Allies Hold Discussion

BJP and Allies Strategize Over New Lok Sabha Speaker Appointment

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies are set to deliberate on the appointment of the next Lok Sabha Speaker in a crucial meeting today at Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s residence. This position holds significant importance as it governs parliamentary protocol and proceedings.

In the past, the BJP, bolstered by its strong majorities in the 2014 and 2019 elections, had the freedom to nominate Sumitra Mahajan and Om Birla as Speakers. However, with the current numbers falling short of a majority by 32 seats, the BJP now relies on alliances with parties like Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United (JDU) and Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to maintain its parliamentary strength.

The selection of the Lok Sabha Speaker requires a simple majority vote among Members of Parliament.

Sources indicate that the BJP is considering nominating key leaders from Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, D. Purandeshwari and Bhartruhari Mahtab, respectively, as a gesture of gratitude to these states where the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) achieved significant electoral success.

Bhartruhari Mahtab, a former member of the Biju Janata Dal led by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, and D. Purandeshwari, who heads the BJP’s unit in Andhra Pradesh and collaborated with the TDP in electoral efforts, are seen as potential candidates. Purandeshwari’s familial ties with Chandrababu Naidu add further weight to her candidacy.

Nitish Kumar’s JDU has already pledged support to the BJP’s nominee for the Speaker’s post.

In the interim, K. Suresh of the Congress, representing Kerala’s Mavelikara constituency, has been appointed as the Pro Tem Speaker. Suresh, the longest-serving MP in the current House, will oversee the administration of oaths to new members next week until the appointment of the permanent Speaker on June 26.

With coalition politics back in focus, following a decade of single-party majority rule, discussions over rewarding BJP allies have intensified. The allocation of ministerial positions concluded last week with the formation of the Modi 3.0 cabinet.

As attention shifts towards selecting the Speaker, opposition parties are keen to exploit potential divisions within the NDA coalition, particularly urging the TDP to assert its claim. The BJP’s reliance on the TDP and JDU for its parliamentary majority underscores the significance of these deliberations.

Furthermore, there is anticipation over the Deputy Speaker’s post, vacant since 2019. Traditionally held by the opposition, its allocation may serve as a counterbalance to the ruling government.

In 2014, the BJP appointed an alliance leader, M. Thambidurai of the AIADMK, to the Deputy Speaker’s position, and a similar strategy may be considered this time as well.

The forthcoming decisions on these key parliamentary roles will shape the dynamics of the 17th Lok Sabha, navigating through a more assertive opposition coalition than in previous terms.

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