Hyderabad: T. Raja Singh, the lone Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA in the 119-member Telangana assembly, did not take oath as a legislator on Thursday as the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had appointed the All India Majilis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLA Mumtaz Ahmed Khan as pro-tem speaker.
Raja Singh, known for his hate speeches, had announced earlier this month that he would not participate in the swearing-in ceremony, because the designated pro-tem speaker Mumtaz Ahmed Khan belonged to the AIMIM. Telangana chief minister and TRS supremo K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) had appointed Khan for a day because he was the most senior MLA and has been winning his seat without any interruption for six terms. The four-day session will end on 20 January.
“I will take my oath once the new speaker is elected on Friday. I have no problem with anybody except the AIMIM. Though I am the only MLA from the BJP in the house, I have the support of others and also the four MLAs who lost their seats in the December polls," Singh told Mint.
On Thursday, KCR was the first to take oath. While he didn’t announce who the speaker will be, names doing the rounds include senior leaders like Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, who was part of the previous cabinet. A senior leader from the TRS who did not want to be named said a woman MLA may be given the post. Election for the post of speaker will take place on Friday.
The ruling TRS won 88 of the 119 seats in the state assembly elections held in December. The Congress, which was in an alliance with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Communist Party of India and the Telangana Jana Samithi, won 19 seats, while the TDP won two of the 13 constituencies it contested.