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Om Birla vs K Suresh: A Historic Lok Sabha Speaker Election After Decades

25-06-24: For first time since India’s independence, Lok Sabha is set to witness an election for Speaker’s post on June 26. This unprecedented event comes after ruling NDA alliance and opposition INDIA bloc failed to reach consensus on candidate.

NDA has re-nominated BJP MP Om Birla as its candidate, while opposition has decided to field veteran Congress leader and eight-time MP K Suresh. If elected, which is likely given NDA’s numbers, Birla will be first Speaker to continue for second term in 35 years.

Lok Sabha Speaker Election : Election Process and Significance

Governed by Article 93 of Constitution, Lok Sabha Speaker is elected on simple majority. Candidate who receives more than half votes from members present in House is elected as Speaker.

Post is crucial as Speaker is principal spokesman of House, and his decision in all Parliamentary matters is considered final. Speaker maintains order and decorum inside House for conducting its business and regulating proceedings. He also has authority to disqualify members for unruly behaviour under 10th schedule of Constitution.

Om Birla’s Candidature

Om Birla, BJP MP from Kota, had won Lok Sabha seat by margin of more than 41,000 votes in general elections. He filed his nomination on Tuesday. Birla had served as Speaker in previous term and is likely to continue if elected.

K Suresh’s Challenge

K Suresh, Congress MP from Kerala’s Mavelikara, is longest-serving member of Parliament. At 68, he brings wealth of experience to table. Opposition INDIA bloc has fielded him against Birla.

Previously, INDIA alliance said it will support NDA candidate for Speaker post provided it gets deputy speaker post. However, as NDA was non-committal, INDIA bloc decided to field its own candidate.

Lok Sabha Speaker Election :Consensus Talks Fail

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju tried to build consensus on Lok Sabha Speaker candidate after opposition INDIA bloc said it was considering its options. According to reports, deputy speaker’s post would have gone to opposition if consensus was reached on NDA’s candidate.

A senior Congress insider said opposition will field its own candidate for Speaker’s position after talks on common candidate couldn’t come through. All Speakers so far have been elected unanimously and an election, if it happens, will be a first.

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