News Brief

INDI Alliance Breaks Tradition, Fields K Suresh Against NDA's Om Birla For Lok Sabha Speaker

Kuldeep Negi

Jun 25, 2024, 12:58 PM | Updated 01:13 PM IST

BJP has fielded Om Birla for the post of Lok Sabha speaker again.
BJP has fielded Om Birla for the post of Lok Sabha speaker again.

After days of uncertainty over the Lok Sabha Speaker's post, the NDA has decided to nominate Om Birla for the position again.

BJP's Om Birla served as the Speaker in the previous Lok Sabha.

Meanwhile, in an unprecedented move, the opposition INDI Alliance bloc has fielded K Suresh against Birla, marking the first time elections will be held for this key post since Independence.

A Lok Sabha Speaker is elected by a simple majority of MPs voting, and all speakers until now have been elected with consensus.

The BJP, with substantial majorities after the 2014 and 2019 elections, faced no challenge in nominating Sumitra Mahajan and Om Birla to the post.

This time, however, the BJP does not have the numbers as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party holds 240 seats in Parliament, falling 32 short of a majority, thus relying on allies like Nitish Kumar's JDU and Chandrababu Naidu's TDP to remain in power.

The Opposition had reportedly proposed supporting the NDA's choice of speaker in exchange for the deputy speaker's post.

However, with the numbers in favour of the NDA, Birla is all set to be Speaker.

Before him, only three people have been Speakers of the Lok Sabha for more than one term.

M A Iyengar held the post for six years and 22 days, Gurdial Singh Dhillon for six years and 110 days, and Balram Jakhar for nine years and 329 days.

Birla met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, a day before the election for the Lok Sabha Speaker.

Om Birla has been associated with the BJP since his early days as a student leader.

He currently serves as an MP from the Kota-Bundi constituency in Rajasthan and was reelected for a second consecutive term in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

Previously, he served three terms as a legislator in the Rajasthan Assembly.

In 2019, Birla was unanimously elected as the Speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha, becoming the first MP from Rajasthan to hold the position.

His selection was a surprise to many, but he has been praised for his ability to take everyone along.

Birla's opponent, K Suresh, secured his eighth consecutive victory in the Lok Sabha elections from Mavelikkara.

He defeated CPI's emerging leader C A Arun Kumar by a narrow margin of 10,000 votes, one of the smallest in the state.

Also Read: Why Is US Favouring Indian STEM Students Over Chinese

Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.

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