News Brief

Om Birla Vs K Suresh: Rare Speaker Election In Lok Sabha Today With Numbers In Government's Favour— All About It

Kuldeep Negi

Jun 26, 2024, 08:41 AM | Updated 08:41 AM 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.

The election for the post of Speaker, a rare event in the history of the Lok Sabha, is scheduled to take place today.

The Opposition has forced a contest, though the numbers appear to favour the government.

The contest pits the BJP's Om Birla, a three-time MP from Rajasthan's Kota and the Speaker in the last Lok Sabha, against Congress's eight-term MP from Kerala's Mavelikara, K Suresh.

The BJP’s choice of Birla is seen as a move to reinforce continuity.

The Speaker is elected by a simple majority, based on the number of MPs present and voting. Reportedly, Seven MPs—five from the Opposition and two Independents—have not taken oath and, therefore, cannot vote.

The Opposition holds 232 seats, while the NDA has 293 MPs. The NDA is also expected to secure the support of the four MPs from YS Jaganmohan Reddy's YSR Congress.

Today's election for the post of the Lok Sabha Speaker, is reportedly already tilted in the government's favour, can push the Opposition further down, with five of its 232 MPs yet to take oath.

On Tuesday, the Congress made a sudden decision to nominate K Suresh just ten minutes before the noon deadline.

The Congress's decision was driven by the BJP dismissing its hopes for the Pro Tem Speaker and Deputy Speaker posts.

The party had initially expected Suresh to be appointed as Pro Tem Speaker, a role that eventually went to the BJP's Bhartruhari Mahtab.

In discussions on Tuesday morning, the government sought consensus for Om Birla but made it clear that they were not considering the Deputy Speaker post or the Opposition's claim to it at this time.

Congress's Rahul Gandhi claimed that Rajnath Singh called Mallikarjun Kharge and asked him to extend support.

"Entire Opposition said we will support but convention is Deputy Speaker should be from our side. Rajnath Singh said he would call back... but he has not yet...PM is asking for cooperation but our leader is getting insulted," Gandhi claimed.

Tuesday evening saw parallel meetings within both camps. Union Home Minister Amit Shah met with NDA allies, while the Opposition Bloc gathered at Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge's residence.

Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress indicated disapproval of the decision to force a contest and announced that it would declare its stance on supporting K Suresh by 9 am.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju has issued a final plea for a consensus candidate.

"For the last two days, we have been in contact with main Opposition parties, talked to their floor leaders regarding the post of Speaker... We want the Speaker to be elected unopposed and through consensus," he said.

Also Read: Rahul Gandhi Named Leader Of Opposition In Lok Sabha Ahead Of Key Election For Speaker

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

Get Swarajya in your inbox.