The Congress on Thursday won the deputy speaker’s post in Madhya Pradesh, breaking a 29-year-old tradition of the state Assembly to offer the post to the Opposition, reported The Times of India.
Hina Likhiram Kavre, an MLA from Lanji seat, was elected deputy speaker amid vehement protests by the Bharatiya Janata Party, forcing the speaker to adjourn the Assembly three times. BJP leader Bhupendra Singh said the party would approach the president and is contemplating moving a no-confidence motion against the Congress government in the state for using “unfair process” in the election to the post.
As per Madhya Pradesh Assembly tradition, elections to the posts of speaker and deputy speaker are avoided. The post of speaker goes to the ruling party and that of deputy speaker goes to the Opposition. The BJP, which is the second largest party in the Assembly with 109 seats, sought elections for both posts this time, according to The Indian Express.
Chief Minister Kamal Nath said the Congress decision to propose a candidate for the deputy speaker’s post was in response to the BJP’s attempts to challenge its candidate for the speaker’s post, NDTV reported.
“Since last 10 to 12 days, attempts were made to get MLAs of other parties on their side...,” Nath said, adding that the BJP filed the nomination for the speaker’s post against the norm. “They thought that they will be able to elect their own speaker nominee. They [BJP] believed there will be a rift in Congress and that’s why they filed nomination papers. Since they started this, we decided we will fight election for the post of deputy speaker.”
Nath claimed that the BJP was “afraid of being exposed”. “I want to tell BJP that a lot of exposes are going to happen, this is only a trailer.”
The BJP had proposed the name of former minister Jagdeesh Dewra. Former Assembly speaker Sitasharan Sharma objected that the speaker did not read out the name of the BJP candidate, prompting BJP legislators to step into the well and protest, News18 reported. Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargav accused Speaker NP Prajapati of being partial and suppressing the Opposition’s voice.
Amid the sloganeering and protests in the Assembly, Kavre was elected by a voice vote. Kavre is the daughter of former transport minister Likhiram Kavre who was hacked to death by Maoists.