Every member of the Opposition INDIA bloc will try to extend support to the Telugu Desam Party if it fields a candidate for the Lok Sabha Speaker’s post, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Sanjay Raut said on Sunday, PTI reported.

The election for the post of the Speaker to the Lower House of Parliament will take place on June 26. The Opposition parties have been urging the Telugu Desam Party and the 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 Sunday, Raut told reporters that the election for the Speaker’s post will be crucial. He claimed that the BJP will break the parties that support it, including the Telugu Desam Party, the Janata Dal (United), Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) and Jayant Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal, if it gets the post.

Raut alleged that the BJP betrays the people who support it.

He also said that the Opposition parties must get the Deputy Speaker’s post according to the rule. The National Democratic Alliance government is not a stable regime, the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader claimed.

Raut’s remarks came a day after Telugu Desam Party national spokesperson Pattabhi Ram Kommareddy said that the constituent parties of the National Democratic Alliance would take a decision together on its candidate for the Lok Sabha Speaker’s post.

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.

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.

A Speaker is responsible for conducting the House. Members have to take permission from the Speaker to ask a question, or to discuss any matter. The Speaker plays a crucial role if a no-confidence motion is moved against the government. In such situations, the Speaker has to admit the motion and put it to vote.

Under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, Speakers also have the power to disqualify legislators who defect from a party. The defection of legislators from a party can alter numbers in the House and cause a government to fall.

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.

Also read: How speakers are undermining the anti-defection law by simply sitting on petitions