Bhartruhari Mahtab appointed as Speaker Protem of Lok Sabha

Bhartruhari Mahtab, a prominent figure in Odisha’s political landscape, is a seven-term Lok Sabha MP.

Updated20 Jun 2024, 08:41 PM IST
Bhartruhari Mahtab (File)
Bhartruhari Mahtab (File)(HT_PRINT)

BJP MP Bhartruhari Mahtab has been appointed as the Speaker Protem of Lok Sabha, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Thursday.

Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Rijiju announced Mahtab's appointment as the Speaker Protem of the Lower House and said he will perform duties of Lok Sabha presiding officer till the election of Speaker.

“President is pleased to appoint Shri Bhartruhari Mahtab, Member, Lok Sabha as Speaker Protem under Article 95(1) of the Constitution to perform the duties of Speaker till election of the Speaker,” Rijiju said in the post.

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The Parliamentary Affairs Minister also informed that Lok Sabha members K Suresh, T R Baalu, Radha Mohan Singh, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Sudip Bandyopadhyay will assist the Speaker Protem.

“President is also pleased to appoint Shri Suresh Kodikunnil, Shri Thalikkottai Rajuthevar Baalu, Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Shri Faggan Singh Kulaste and Shri Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Members of Lok Sabha under Article 99 of the Constitution to assist Speaker Protem in Oath/Affirmation to newly elected Members of 18th Lok Sabha till election of the Speaker,” he added.

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Who is Bhartruhari Mahtab?

Bhartruhari Mahtab, a prominent figure in Odisha’s political landscape, is a seven-term Lok Sabha MP.

Previously a member of the Biju Janta Dal (BJD), Mahtab joined the BJP in March this year, ahead of the elections.

In 2017, the now Speaker Protem was awarded the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for this performance in Lok Sabha debates.

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What is the role of a pro-tem Speaker?

The Speaker is the Presiding Officer of Lok Sabha and thus have some key duties related to the day-to-day proceedings of the House.

Since the Speaker has to be elected by a simple majority in the House, until then, a pro-tem Speaker is chosen to perform the Speaker’s duties, including the oath-taking of MPs.

The word ‘pro-tem’ means ‘for the time being’ or ‘temporarily’. Althought the ‘pro-tem’ post is not mentioned in the Constitution, the ‘Handbook on the Working of Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs' mentions the ‘Appointment and Swearing in of Speaker pro-tem'.

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Opposition on Bhartruhari Mahtab's appointment

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh reacted to Bhartruhari Mahtab and said that by convention, the MP who has served the maximum terms should be appointed as the Speaker Protem for the first two days when oath is administered to all newly elected MPs.

“The seniormost MPs in the 18th Lok Sabha are Kodikunnil Suresh (INC) and Virendra Kumar (BJP), both of who are now serving their 8th term. The latter is now a Union Minister and hence it was expected that Kodikunnil Suresh would be the Speaker Protem,” he said.

"Instead, a 7-term MP, Bhartruhari Mahtab has been appointed Speaker Protem. He was a BJD MP for 6 terms and is now a BJP MP," Ramesh added.

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First Published:20 Jun 2024, 08:41 PM IST
HomePoliticsNewsBhartruhari Mahtab appointed as Speaker Protem of Lok Sabha

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