Om Birla unanimously elected Lok Sabha speaker

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 19, 2019 Published on June 19, 2019

Om Birla, the newly elected Speaker of the Lok Sabha   -  Kamal Narang

Congress, other opposition parties extend support


With the Congress, the Trinamool Congress and the DMK extending their support, NDA nominee Om Birla faced no contest in his election as Speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Protem Speaker Virendra Kumar took up 13 notices, including the ones moved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, to move the motion for election of the Speaker. All the notices were in support of Om Birla’s candidature.

With no Opposition candidate in the fray, the motion moved by the Prime Minister to choose the Kota-Bundi MP as the Speaker was adopted by a voice vote. The motion was passed unanimously and the Prime Minister led the newly-elected Speaker to the presiding officer’s chair. Several leaders from the BJP, the Congress, the DMK and the TMC went up the podium to greet the new Speaker.

Also read: Om Birla: From grassroots politician to Lok Sabha speaker

The PM promised him full cooperation from the government and Treasury Benches and asked him to “be tough” if anyone crosses the line.

“I, on behalf of the government and the Treasury Benches, assure you full support in conducting the House. I also assure you that your order will prevail and you must be tough even if anyone from our side (Treasury Benches) crosses the limit,” Modi said, congratulating Birla.

Birla assured the Members that he will run the House in an impartial manner and everyone will be heard. “I have been a Member like you from 2014 to 2019. And here we should raise issues which matter to the last person standing in the row,” he said.

Extending his whole-hearted support to Birla, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury urged him to be impartial and give the Opposition enough time to raise issues of public interest. He said the presiding officer is the custodian of the House, which according to Jawaharlal Nehru represents the nation and freedom of the country. Chowdhury also expressed concern over a few bills being referred to Standing Committees by the Lok Sabha and hoped the trend would be reversed. Referring to slogan shouting in the House during the oath taking of MPs, Chowdhury said the House in the last two dayswitnessed chanting of religious slogans such as Jai Shri Ram and Allahu Akbar. He said the social fabric of the country will be strengthened only when people respect all religious faiths.

NK Premchandran of the Revolutionary Socialist Party urged the Speaker to protect the democratic rights of the Members and asserted that active Opposition is good for healthy democracy. He said he raised 500 amendments to different Bills during the 16th Lok Sabha but none of them was accepted by the government.

Regional parties

SAD’s Sukhbir Singh Badal and Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel suggested that the regional and smaller parties should be given adequate time during discussions.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Lok Janshakti Party’s Chirag Paswan and Telangana Rashtra Samithi’s N Nageshwar Rao. BSP’s Shyam Singh Yadav said first-time MPs should also get sufficient time in discussions. AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi said the Speaker should ensure protection of separation of powers and the “elected government should not become a monarch”.

Sudip Bandyopadhyay of the TMC said “brute majoritarianism” sometimes affects the functioning of the House. “Many times, the Centre acts as if it can govern the whole country,” Bandyopadhyay said. He was interrupted by Birla who said this was not the occasion to speak on the matter.

Union Minister Ramdas Athawale (RPI-A) evoked laughter when he recited a poem and promised to make Birla laugh.

“You (Birla) do not laugh, but I will make you laugh,” he said.




Published on June 19, 2019

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