The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday nominated party MP Om Birla for the post of the speaker of the newly elected Lok Sabha. All members of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance have backed Birla’s name, PTI reported.
The Congress and its allies have also decided to support Birla’s candidature, party leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said on Tuesday evening. With this, the 57-year-old is all set to be elected speaker unopposed on Wednesday. He will succeed former BJP MP Sumitra Mahajan, who did not contest the Lok Sabha elections this time.
The ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament is the first time the 17th Lok Sabha is meeting since being elected last month. The session began on Monday and will end on July 26.
Birla won the election to the Lower House from Kota-Bundi seat in Rajasthan, defeating Ramnarain Meena of the Congress by 2.79 lakh votes. He has earlier been a three-time MLA in the state.
The BJP gave a notice with the proposal to the Lok Sabha Secretariat on Tuesday, the last day for filing nominations for the post.
Earlier in the day, Birla had denied any knowledge of his nomination after meeting BJP Working President JP Nadda. “I have no information, I had just went to meet the working president as a ‘karyakarta’ [worker of the party],” ANI quoted him as saying.
His wife, Amita Birla, told ANI it was a “proud and a happy moment for us”. “We are very thankful to the [Union] Cabinet for choosing him,” she said.
Union minister Pralhad Joshi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had proposed Birla’s name, reported ANI. “BJD [Biju Janata Dal], Shiv Sena, National People’s Party, Mizo National Front, Akali Dal, Lok Janshakti Party, YSR Congress Party, JD(U), AIADMK and Apna Dal have signed the proposal.”
The BJP had also considered the names of PP Chaudhary and SS Ahluwalia, but decided on Birla, Times Now reported on Tuesday.
BJP MP Virendra Kumar took oath as the pro tem speaker of the Lok Sabha on Monday. He oversaw the swearing-in ceremonies of new legislators and will resign when the new Speaker is appointed.