The BJP is expected to retain the Lok Sabha Speaker’s post, following a consensus among the NDA allies, especially the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), and Janata Dal United, which had initial reservations over allowing the lead coalition partner, to keep the key parliamentary position at a time, when it got a fractured mandate.

BJP sources said that the NDA allies have conveyed their agreement, ahead of election for the Lok Sabha Speaker’s post, scheduled for June 26. The central leadership of the BJP, had authorised Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, to talk to the NDA allies, on the Speaker’s issue. With the BJP falling short of 32 MPs, to cross the majority mark in Lok Sabha, it is dependent on the NDA allies, to have its own party Speaker. This is unlike the 2019, and 2014 Lok Sabha elections, that gave a thumping majority to the BJP, to have its presiding officers in the Lower House.

However, the INDIA bloc, has thrown its hat for the Deputy Speaker’s post, citing convention that opposition is given that opportunity, to give space to the non-treasury benches for running the Lower House. Though the Deputy Speaker’s post was vacant in 2019, the AIADMK’s M Thambi Durai, occupied that chair in 2014. During the UPA regime too, BJP leaders were given Deputy Speaker’s post.

The first session of parliament, will begin on June 24, with members taking oath, and after that, the election for the speaker will take place. Party sources said that Om Birla, outgoing Speaker, and the MP from Kota in Rajasthan, is among the top contenders along with Radha Mohan Singh, former Union Minister, and MP from Purvi Champaran in Bihar, to occupy the presiding officer’s chair in the Lower House.

Birla, as per people close to him, believe that he stands a fair chance, given the fact that he enjoys the trust of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, and now, has the experience to run the House, a fact that would be appreciated, to handle opposition parties like Congress, which are returning to Lok Sabha with an increased strength.

Radha Mohan Singh’s choice is getting aggregated to send a message to Bihar, and also, has good equations with NDA allies from the state such as JDU, and Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas), sources close to him narrated.

Another name doing the rounds, is of Bhartruhari Mahtab, the former Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader, who crossed over to the BJP, close to the Lok Sabha polls, and got re-elected from Cuttack. He has also won “Best Parliamentarian” awards, during his previous stints as MP.

Meanwhile, meetings continued at Rajnath Singh’s residence, for the second day on Tuesday, to chalk out a strategy for the coming parliament session. One of the issues addressed in the meeting, was to formalise the Presidential address, which will take place at the start of the parliament. BJP leaders Bhupender Yadav, Virendra Kumar, Piyush Goyal, S Jaishankar, Kiren Rijiju, and Manohar Lal Khattar, were present, at Singh’s residence. They were joined by NDA partners, like JDU’s Lalan Singh, and Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) leader, Chirag Paswan.