The constituent parties of the National Democratic Alliance will take a decision together on its candidate for the Lok Sabha Speaker’s post, the Telugu Desam Party said on Saturday, The Indian Express reported.

“The NDA partners will sit together and decide who our candidate for the Speaker is going to be,” Telugu Desam Party national spokesperson Pattabhi Ram Kommareddy said. “Once a consensus is reached, we will field that candidate and all partners, including the TDP, will support the candidate.”

Kommareddy did not say whether his party would push for its nominee as the Speaker. However, The Indian Express quoted an unidentified source from the Telugu Desam Party as saying that the party had not ruled out the option.

“Like all partners we have a say in selecting the candidate for the Speaker’s post,” the source reportedly said.

The election for the Speaker’s post will take place on June 26. Over the past few days, Opposition parties have been urging the Telugu Desam Party and Janata Dal (United) – both members of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance – to seek the Speaker’s post to thwart horse-trading attempts by the BJP.

On Friday, Janata Dal (United) leader KC Tyagi said that his party as well as the Telugu Desam Party were “strongly in NDA” and would support the BJP’s nominee for the Speaker’s post, ANI reported.

The Bharatiya Janata Party won 240 Lok Sabha seats in the general election, a significant dip from its tally of 303 seats in 2019. As it fell short of the majority mark of 272 seats, it had to depend on its coalition partners in the National Democratic Alliance to form the government.

The Telugu Desam Party has 16 MPs and the Janata Dal (United) has 12 MPs in the Lok Sabha, making their support crucial for the BJP to remain in power.

On June 12, Congress leader and former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had said that the Telugu Desam Party and Janata Dal (United) should be prepared for horse-trading if the BJP keeps the Speaker’s post.

“If the BJP does not intend to engage in any undemocratic act, it should give the Speaker’s post to one of its allies,” he had said.

On June 10, Aam Aadmi Party Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said that electing a Speaker from the Telugu Desam Party or the Janata Dal (United) would be in the interests of the Constitution and democracy, according to The New Indian Express.

“If the TDP fields its candidate, the role of INDIA constituents, including the Congress, will be very crucial,” he added.

Role of Lok Sabha Seaker

The Speaker has the power to conduct Lok Sabha proceedings in consultation with the Leader of the House. The Speaker can decide on whether to accept requests for division of votes, can decide on whether to admit no-confidence motions and can rule on disqualifying legislators who defect from their parties.

In recent years, the role of the Speakers in state legislative Assemblies was crucial in the collapse of governments helmed by the BJP’s opponents – such as in Maharashtra and Karnataka.