New Lok Sabha Speaker: Santosh Gangwar, Maneka Gandhi, Prahlad Patel And Prahlad Joshi All In The RacePrime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Maneka Gandhi. (Photo by Vishal Bhatnagar/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Santosh Gangwar and Maneka Gandhi both share the distinction of being the senior most member of the newly elected Lok Sabha. Hence, both are tied for the post of pro tem Speaker. Since latter is most likely going to be a part of the upcoming cabinet, scales are tipped in favour of Gangwar, who may also become Speaker, reports Business Standard.

Gangwar is the seniormost BJP parliamentarian in the 17th Lok Sabha, who has won eight elections from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh. Hailing from the Kurmi community, not only is Gangwar a prominent OBC face of the party but also has held several key positions in the party. He has served as Union parliamentary affairs minister and enjoys good rapport with opposition leaders.

The pro tem Speaker administers oath to the newly elected members and also presides over the first meeting of the lower house in which the Speaker is elected.

Santosh Gangwar, Pralhad Joshi, Prahlad Patel and Narendra Singh Tomar, all are likely to replace Sumitra Mahajan as the Speaker of Lok Sabha. Joshi has won his fourth consecutive term from Dharwad in Karnataka. Based on excellent performance of BJP in the state, the party may choose a Speaker from the state. His election could send positive signals in the southern states.

On the other hand, Tomar and Patel both hail from Madhya Pradesh. Tomar was Rural Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister in the outgoing cabinet, Patel was a Minister of State in Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

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