NDA Renominates Om Birla for Speaker, Emphasizing Continuity

New Delhi:
After several days of speculation regarding the Lok Sabha Speaker’s position, the NDA has chosen to renominate Om Birla. Om Birla, who served as the Speaker in the previous Lok Sabha, will file his nomination today at 11:30 am. This marks a notable moment as the opposition alliance, INDIA, has nominated K Suresh, leading to the first-ever election for this significant post. Traditionally, the Speaker is elected by a simple majority of voting MPs, and until now, the position has been filled through consensus.

The BJP, enjoying large majorities in the 2014 and 2019 elections, previously nominated Sumitra Mahajan and Om Birla without challenge. However, this time the party doesn’t have an outright majority, holding 240 seats in Parliament, which is 32 short of a majority. This situation necessitates reliance on allies like Nitish Kumar’s JDU and Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP to maintain power.

The opposition has proposed supporting the NDA’s Speaker candidate in exchange for the Deputy Speaker’s post. Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has conveyed to senior BJP leader and Union Minister Rajnath Singh that the Deputy Speaker should come from the opposition benches. Sources indicate that Kharge emphasized the need to follow healthy traditions and strive for consensus.

Earlier today, Om Birla met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the second day of Parliament.

Om Birla has been with the BJP since his student days. Representing the Kota-Bundi constituency in Rajasthan, he was reelected in the recent Lok Sabha elections. He also has three terms as a Rajasthan Assembly legislator to his credit. In 2019, Om Birla became first MP from Rajasthan to be unanimously elected as the Speaker of 17th Lok Sabha which surprised many but earning praise for his inclusive leadership.

His opponent, K Suresh, recently secured his eighth consecutive Lok Sabha victory from Mavelikkara, defeating CPI’s CA Arun Kumar by a narrow margin of 10,000 votes. Mavelikkara, dominated by the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF), saw one of the tightest races in the state.

Suresh, considered a strong contender for the Kerala Congress chief position in 2021, is currently a special invitee to the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s highest decision-making body. He also serves as the working president of Kerala unit of Congress and has previously been an All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary.

Shruti Suman

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