Lok Sabha Speaker elected without contest since Independence. Full details here

The post of Speaker of Central Legislative Assembly saw a contest on 6 occasions between 1925 and 1946. Vitthalbhai Patel was re-elected to the post unanimously in 1927 after the completion of his first term. Patel quit the post on April 28, 1930 after the Civil Disobedience call by Mahatma Gandhi.

Livemint (with inputs from PTI)
Updated26 Jun 2024, 06:37 AM IST
Lok Sabha Speaker elected without contest since independence, last election in 1946. Find details here
Lok Sabha Speaker elected without contest since independence, last election in 1946. Find details here(PTI)

The Speaker of the Lok Sabha has always been elected without any contest since Independence. So, if the Opposition INDIA bloc forces an election for the Speaker of the 18th Lok Sabha on June 26, it would be the first such instance in the history of Independent India as the person to assume the crucial chair in the Lower House of the Parliament has always been chosen by a consensus between the ruling and opposition parties or alliances.

Sample this.  In 1925, elections to chose the Speaker of the Central Legislative Assembly, the lower house of the then Imperial Legislative Council - the legislature of British India, were held for the first time on August 24. Swaraj Party leader Vitthalbhai J Patel won the election against T Rangachariar.

Patel, the first non-official member to be elected as the Speaker, won with a narrow margin of two votes. Patel had polled 58 votes against 56 garnered by Rangachariar.

Also Read: Will INDIA bloc get the Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker post? Explained in 5 Points

Buoyed by its increased strength in the Lok Sabha, the opposition INDIA bloc is seeking the post of the Deputy Speaker. By convention, if the ruling party or alliance gets the Speaker's post, the Deputy Speaker comes from the opposition party or alliance in Lok Sabha.

Lok Sabha Session from June 24

The date of election for the post of Speaker in the newly-elected Lok Sabha is scheduled next week.  The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha will begin on June 24 during which new members of the Lower House will take oath and the Speaker elected. The date of election has been fixed to be June 26.

The INDIA bloc won 233 seats in the Lok Sabha elections, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won 293 seats to retain power for the third consecutive term. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) with 16 seats and Janata Dal (U) with 12 seats are the biggest allies of the BJP which won 240 seats.

Also Read:How is Lok Sabha Speaker elected? Why is the post crucial for PM Modi 3.0? Explained in 5 points

The INDIA bloc parties have also egged on BJP ally TDP to insist on the post of the Lok Sabha Speaker or face gradual disintegration of the party. "We have the experience that the BJP betrays the people who support it," Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut said in Mumbai on Sunday.

The JD(U), the other prominent ally in the NDA government, has declared support for a BJP candidate as the Lok Sabha Speaker, while the TDP is understood to have favoured a consensus candidate for the coveted post.

Six Contests for Speaker since 1925

The post of the Speaker of the Central Legislative Assembly witnessed a contest on six occasions between 1925 and 1946.

Patel was re-elected to the post unanimously on January 20, 1927 after the completion of his first term. Patel, however, quit the post on April 28, 1930 following a call for Civil Disobedience by Mahatma Gandhi. Sir Muhammad Yakub (78 votes) won the Speaker's election against Nand Lal (22 votes) on July 9, 1930.

Also Read:Why did Rahul Gandhi retain Rae Bareli over Wayanad? Mallikarjun Kharge says…

In the fourth Assembly, Sir Ibrahim Rahimtoola (76 votes) won the Speaker’s election against Hari Singh Gour who got 36 votes. Rahimtoola resigned on health grounds on March 7, 1933. He was succeeded by Shanmukham Chetty on March 14, 1933 as the unanimous choice.

Sir Abdur Rahim was elected as the Speaker of the Fifth Assembly on January 24, 1935. Rahim had polled 70 votes against TAK Sherwani, who could get votes from 62 members.

Rahim held the office for more than 10 years as the tenure of the fifth Legislative Assembly was extended from time to time on account of the contemplated constitutional changes and the World War II.

Last Lok Sabha Speaker Election in 1946

The last contest for the post of the Central Legislative Assembly Speaker was held on January 24, 1946 when Congress leader GV Mavalankar won the election against Cowasjee Jehangir by a margin of just three votes. Mavalankar polled 66 votes against 63 by Jehangir.

Also Read: ‘Congress diminishing stature of Priyanka Gandhi’: Ex-party leader Pramod Krishnam on her Wayanad candidacy

Mavalankar was subsequently appointed as the Speaker of the Constituent Assembly and the Provisional Parliament that came into being after the Constitution came into force on January 26, 1950.

Mavalankar continued to be the Speaker of the Provisional Parliament till April 17, 1952 when the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were constituted after the first general elections.

Uncontested since Independence

Since Independence, Lok Sabha Speakers have been chosen by consensus between both the ruling and opposition parties. Only MA Ayyangar, GS Dhillon, Balram Jakhar and GMC Balayogi have been re-elected to the Speaker's posts in the subsequent Lok Sabhas.

In 1956, Ayyangar, the first Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha, was chosen as the Speaker following the death of Mavalankar. He won the 1957 general elections and was chosen as the Speaker of the second Lok Sabha too.

Dhillon was chosen as the Speaker of the fourth Lok Sabha after the resignation of incumbent N Sanjeeva Reddy in 1969. Dhillon became Speaker of the fifth Lok Sabha in 1971 too and continued in office till December 1, 1975, when he quit during the Emergency.

Also Read: Why did Rahul Gandhi retain Rae Bareli over Wayanad? Mallikarjun Kharge says…

Jakhar was Speaker of the seventh and the eighth Lok Sabhas and holds the distinction of being the only presiding officer to complete two full terms.

Balayogi was chosen as the Speaker of the 12th Lok Sabha, which had a tenure of 19 months. He was also chosen as the Speaker of the 13th Lok Sabha on October 22, 1999, till his death in a chopper crash on March 3, 2002.

Now, it remains to be seen whether history will be made next week or will the history repeat itself and the Speaker, like in the past, gets chosen uncontested with consensus between the ruling NDA and opposition INDIA bloc. 

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First Published:26 Jun 2024, 06:37 AM IST
HomePoliticsLok Sabha Speaker elected without contest since Independence. Full details here

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