New Delhi:Sumitra Mahajan, senior BJP leader and one of the most experienced parliamentarians, looks set to be the next Lok Sabha speaker. According to sources, the 71-year-old leader from Madhya Pradesh has been sounded by party chief Rajnath Singh about taking up the post.

The election for the speaker will take place on Friday and the party is likely to make a formal announcement about its nominee soon. If elected, Mahajan will be the second woman to hold the key position, after outgoing speaker Meira Kumar.

Mahajan has not lost a Lok Sabha election since 1989 and was elected from Indore for the eighth time in the recent polls by a margin of 467,000 votes. She was a minister of state in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government from 1999 to 2004.

The week-long first session of the 16th Lok Sabha started on Wednesday on a sombre note, with the House paying homage to Union minister Gopinath Munde, who died after a road accident in New Delhi on Tuesday. The House adjourned for the day after paying homage to the departed leader.

President Pranab Mukherjee will address a joint sitting of Parliament on 9 June and the session will end on 11 June.