Om Birla elected Speaker for second time on voice vote

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Om Birla elected Speaker for second time on voice vote

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Om Birla, a three-time BJP MP from Kota, has been re-elected as the Lok Sabha Speaker for a second consecutive term. This re-election, conducted by voice vote, comes despite the Congress fielding its candidate K Suresh. The opposition, however, refrained from seeking a vote, which led to an uncontested victory for Birla.

In support of Birla, 13 sets of proposals were presented, the first being moved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and seconded by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Additional proposers included members from NDA partners and BJP‘s own, representing various castes.

The Congress, along with its allies Shiv Sena (UBT), DMK, NCP, and RSP, proposed the candidature of Suresh, hinting at a possible contest—the first in nearly five decades—primarily to leverage his Dalit background. However, the Trinamool Congress’s decision not to propose Suresh, in protest against the Congress’s unilateral declaration of his candidacy, appeared to be the main reason for the lack of a vote division.

Consensus Efforts and the Outcome

Efforts to reach a consensus included discussions between Congress’s K C Venugopal, DMK’s T R Baalu, and Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, and J P Nadda. The opposition’s demand for the deputy speaker position to be held by one of their members was once again turned down by the government. Despite Union Minister for Animal Husbandry Rajiv Ranjan Singh ‘Lalan’ attempting to provoke the Congress into pressing for a vote, they chose not to, resulting in Birla’s election by voice vote.

Prime Minister’s Congratulations and Birla’s Vision

Prime Minister Modi congratulated Birla on his re-election, expressing confidence in his ability to guide parliamentarians and play a significant role in fulfilling the people’s expectations. Birla, following his election, emphasized the need for a new vision and resolve for the 18th Lok Sabha. He called for the Lok Sabha to be a center of creative thinking and new ideas, aspiring to establish high standards of parliamentary traditions and dignity.

Modi, along with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju and Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi, escorted Birla to the Speaker’s chair after his election, marking a moment of harmony in the House.

Historical Significance

Birla’s second consecutive term marks the fifth instance of a Lok Sabha Speaker serving beyond the tenure of one Lok Sabha. This occasion is notable as elections for the Speaker’s position, typically decided by consensus, became necessary. Birla, who has risen through the ranks in BJP, is also a three-term former Rajasthan MLA, further cementing his extensive experience and leadership within the party.

Birla’s re-election as the Speaker highlights his enduring influence and the strategic support he enjoys within the BJP and its allies, setting the stage for his continued role in shaping the proceedings of the Lok Sabha.

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