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Business News/ Videos / Politics/  Modi 3.0 Cabinet: Who will be the next Lok Sabha Speaker? Explained in 6 key points

Modi 3.0 Cabinet: Who will be the next Lok Sabha Speaker? Explained in 6 key points

Modi 3.0 Cabinet: Many reports have claimed that both the TDP and the JD-U, the two kingmakers with 28 Lok Sabha seats, are eyeing the key position. The BJP is, however, not keen on having a Lok Sabha Speaker from the allies.

Modi 3.0 Cabinet: Who will be the next Lok Sabha speaker? Explained in 6 key points (PTI)Premium
Modi 3.0 Cabinet: Who will be the next Lok Sabha speaker? Explained in 6 key points (PTI)

With ministerial portfolios now allocated in Modi 3.0, attention shifts to selecting the Lok Sabha Speaker. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), despite falling short of the 272-seat majority in the Lok Sabha, successfully formed the government by relying on its National Democratic Alliance (NDA) allies. Consequently, the saffron party needs to get its allies — particularly Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) (JD-U)— on board to decide on the Speaker's post.

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Many reports have claimed that both the TDP and the JD-U, the two kingmakers with 28 Lok Sabha seats, are eyeing the key position. The BJP is, however, not keen to have a Lok Sabha Speaker from the allies, according to the sources.

How is the Lok Sabha Speaker elected?

As per Article 93 of the Constitution, the Speaker's post falls vacant just before the new Lok Sabha meets for the first time. The President appoints a Pro-tem Speaker to administer the oath of office to the newly elected Members of Parliament (MPs).

After this, a Lok Sabha Speaker is elected by a simple majority. This means more than half of the members present in the house have to vote for a particular candidate to become the Speaker of Lok Sabha.

There are no criteria as such for a speaker to be appointed. Sumitra Mahajan and Om Birla, both BJP leaders, were the Speakers in the last two Lok Sabhas – 2014- 2019 and 2019-2024.

The role of a Lok Sabha Speaker?

The Speaker is a crucial position in the Lok Sabha as he/she is responsible for running the House. Since the House has members from ruling and opposition parties, the Speaker’s chair has to be non-partisan.

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The role assumes even more significance since the Speaker is also an elected member of the Lok Sabha, representing a particular party. Yet there were some occasions when Speakers quit the party before assuming the role. N Sanjiva Reddy, for example, resigned from the Congress after he was elected Speaker of the fourth Lok Sabha in March 1967.

Prominent Speakers?

Among prominent speakers, PA Sangma, Somnath Chatterjee, and Meira Kumar did not formally resign from the party they belonged to, but all of them affirmed that they belonged to the Lok Sabha and not to a particular party.

Chatterjee was, in fact, expelled by the CPM over his ‘non-partisan’ stand during the July 2008 no-confidence motion against the UPA government over the Indo-US Nuclear deal.

The CPM had withdrawn support to the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government on July 9, 2008, in protest against the nuclear deal. The CPM wanted Chatterjee, the speaker, to resign from the speaker’s post before the special session. However, the ten-term MP decided to continue as speaker against his party’s wishes. He was of the view that he was above party politics as the Lok Sabha speaker.

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The special session of the Lok Sabha took place with Somnath Chatterjee presiding over it after being expelled from the party.

Why is TDP and JD-U eying the Speaker’s post?

Unlike the previous two terms, PM Modi’s third term relies on allies Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar. Naidu is set to be sworn in as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, while Kumar is the Chief Minister of Bihar. If multiple reports are anything to go by, both the regional satraps wanted to have the speaker’s post in return for their support to the PM Modi’s third term. Both Naidu’s TDP and Kumar’s JD-U have got two berths each in the Union government.

Since the Modi government has not just the BJP but other parties as stakeholders, there could be a situation where the government faces a crisis on the floor of the House. In such a scenario, it is the Speaker of the House whose role comes into play. 

The law states that the Speaker has the power to disqualify members in cases of defection. Thus, the two leaders would want to have the Speaker's post as a shield against any situation where their MPs might face disqualification over switching sides, according to a report in NDTV.

What Opposition leaders said?

Aam Admi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh has demanded that the Lok Sabha speaker be selected from TDP or any other NDA alliance partners. “TDP should have a speaker in the NDA government. A BJP speaker will be fatal for the parliamentary tradition. In Modi 2.0, 150 MPs were suspended from the House. These people will break small parties to remain in power," Singh said.

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Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah slammed the BJP for giving its allies in the NDA government “leftover" portfolios because it didn't have any “meaningful" ministry left for them.

“You can bet your bottom dollar the post of Speaker of Lok Sabha will stay with the BJP as well," Abdullah said.

Who are the frontrunners?

Some reports suggested that Om Birla will continue to be the Lok Sabha speaker. Birla won Lok Sabha Elections 2024 as a BJP candidate from Kota, Rajasthan.

Among the other names doing rounds for the Speaker’s post is that of Daggubati Purandeswari. Daughter of TDP founder NT Rama Rao, Daggubati Purandeswari is a BJP politician from Andhra Pradesh and also the state's party president.

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Purandeswari has served as MoS in the Ministry of Human Resource Development in 2009 and MoS in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in 2012. Purandeswari won the just-concluded Lok Sabha Elections from Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh by over 2.3 lakh votes. She has perhaps not been included in the Union cabinet since she might become the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Purandeswari's election as the Speaker may not annoy TDP chief Naidu. Naidu’s wife, Nara Bhuvaneswari, and Purandeswari are sisters.

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Published: 11 Jun 2024, 01:03 PM IST
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