The Opposition parties have decided to put up a joint candidate for the post of deputy speaker in the Lok Sabha. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Congress party’s parliament strategy group.
The Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson’s post fell vacant after Janata Dal (United) MP Harivansh retired in April this year.
The deputy speaker couldn’t be elected in the budget session of the Lok Sabha which ended in March. And because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the legislative proceedings were affected so a discussion on the same could not be held.
Now, a discussion is expected in the monsoon session of Parliament which is beginning on September 14. The last date of filing the nominations is September 11.
This is a departure from the last four terms of the house, when the post had been occupied within a few months of the constitution of the new Lok Sabha.
PM Sayeed of the Congress was elected deputy speaker in December 1999, a little over a month after the national elections in which the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) emerged victorious and Atal Bihari Vajpayee became Prime Minister. In 2004, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) ousted the NDA and Charanjit Singh Atwal of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) assumed the post within two months of the constitution of the 14th Lok Sabha.
BJP veteran Kariya Munda was elected to the post in 2009, again within two months.In 2014, after the BJP won the general election with majority under Narendra Modi, the NDA offered the post to a friendly party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), and its leader M Thambidurai was unanimously elected deputy speaker in August, nearly three months after the 16th Lok Sabha was constituted.
The deputy speaker presides over the Lok Sabha when the speaker is absent from house. In the current Lok Sabha, in the absence of speaker Om Birla, members of a panel of chairpersons preside over the House.
The Congress decided to make the election of deputy speaker a part of its parliament strategy. The high profile group of the party met on Tuesday to formulate the strategy of the party for the upcoming Parliament session.
The meeting of the party’s parliament strategy group was chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and attended by Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, AK Antony, Ahmed Patel, Jairam Ramesh, KC Venugopal, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Gaurav Gogoi, K Suresh, Manickam Tagore and Ravneet Singh Bittu.