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Lok Sabha to Elect New Speaker on June 26

The Lok Sabha is set to elect its new Speaker on June 26, with the inaugural session of the newly-elected 18th Lok Sabha scheduled from June 24 to July 3.

As speculation about the next Speaker continues, the Opposition INDIA bloc has stressed that the key position should go to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners, specifically the Janata Dal (United) and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

Importance of the Speaker’s Role

In contrast to the previous two terms under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where the BJP held a clear majority, the current government relies on coalition partners. The BJP secured 240 Lok Sabha seats in the 2024 elections, falling 32 seats short of a majority. The TDP, led by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) won 16 and 12 seats respectively, making them crucial allies in the new government.

Allies’ Views

TDP leaders have suggested that the NDA partners should collectively decide on the Speaker candidate, while JD(U) leader KC Tyagi has indicated potential support for a BJP-nominated candidate.

Election Process for the Lok Sabha Speaker

Article 93 of the Constitution outlines the election rules for the Lok Sabha Speaker. The Speaker’s post becomes vacant just before the new Lok Sabha convenes, which in this case is June 24. The President appoints a Pro-tem Speaker to administer the oath to newly elected Members of Parliament (MPs) before the session begins.

On June 24 and 25, the newly-elected MPs will take their oaths, and the election for the new Speaker is set for June 26. Members must submit notices supporting their candidates by noon on June 25. A simple majority vote among the house members present is required to elect the Speaker.

Significance and Powers of the Lok Sabha Speaker

The Speaker plays a critical role in managing the House, setting the parliamentary agenda, and allowing motions such as adjournments and no-confidence votes. The Speaker’s rulings on House rules are final and cannot be challenged.

As a non-partisan chair, the Speaker must balance representation of both ruling and opposition members. The Speaker also has the authority to address unruly behavior and can disqualify members for defection under the Constitution’s 10th schedule.

Potential Candidates

Reports suggest Om Birla might continue as Speaker, having won the 2024 elections as a BJP candidate from Kota, Rajasthan. However, Birla stated on June 16 that the decision rests with political parties. NDA leaders discussed the Speaker and Deputy Speaker elections during a meeting at Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s residence.

Another contender for the Speaker’s post is Daggubati Purandeswari, a BJP politician from Andhra Pradesh and state party president. Daughter of TDP founder NT Rama Rao, Purandeswari has served as Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Resource Development (2009) and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (2012).

She recently won the Lok Sabha seat from Rajahmundry by over 2.3 lakh votes and may not have been included in the union cabinet in anticipation of her potential election as Speaker. Purandeswari’s appointment could favor TDP chief Naidu, as she is the sister of Naidu’s wife, Nara Bhuvaneswari. Purandeswari attended Naidu’s oath-taking ceremony in Andhra Pradesh as a special guest last week.

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