Parties assure him of their whole-hearted support in the smooth conduct of proceedings in the House Opposition urges him to be impartial
NATIONAL Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee Om Birla was on Wednesday unanimously elected Speaker of the Lok Sabha with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Opposition assuring him of their whole-hearted support in the smooth conduct of proceedings in the House. Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary, DMK’s T R Baalu and Trinamool Congress’ Sudip Bandyopadhyay were among those who backed Birla and urged him to be impartial as presiding officer of the Lower House. “I on behalf of the Government and the treasury benches assure you full support in conducting the House. I also assure you that your order will prevail and you must be tough even if anyone from our side (treasury benches) crosses the limit,” Modi said, congratulating Birla.
The Prime Minister heaped praise on the two-time Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP for his long public life, going back to his student days, and recalled his social work in Kota, Rajasthan, and in other parts of the country, including during the 2011 earthquake in Gujarat and the 2013 floods in Uttarakhand. Birla assured the members that he will run the House in an impartial manner and everyone will be heard. “I have been a member like you from 2014 to 2019. And here we should raise issues which matter to the last person standing in the row,” he said. The 56-year-old, considered to be close to both Modi and BJP President Amit Shah, succeeds eight-term MP Sumitra Mahajan as the Speaker, a post traditionally held by senior MPs. Extending his whole-hearted support to Birla, Chaudhary urged him to be impartial and give the Opposition enough time to raise issues of public interest.
He said that the presiding officer is the custodian of the House, which according to Jawaharlal Nehru, represents the nation and freedom of the country. Chaudhary also expressed concern over very few bills being referred to standing committees by the Lok Sabha and hoped for a reversal of the trend. Pinaki Mishra of the BJD expressed similar concerns and said Birla’s unopposed election shows his acceptability. There was no candidate in the fray other than Birla and the motion moved by the Prime Minister to choose the Kota-Bundi MP as the Speaker was adopted by a voice vote.
A total of 13 motions were moved in support of Birla. Since the motion moved by Modi, also the Leader of the House, was adopted, the other motions became infructuous. Birla was declared elected by pro-tem Speaker Virendra Kumar. Modi led the New speaker to the presiding officer’s chair. Several leaders from BJP, Congress, DMK, TMC went up the podium to greet the new Speaker. Birla, a surprise pick for the post, won his first Lok Sabha election in 2014 and was again elected this year from Rajasthan’s Kota-Bundi seat. The Prime Minister said that Kota has become “Kashi (hub) of education”. “Kota has become kind of a small country and the transformation of Kota has taken place under your leadership,” he said. There is a perception that people in political life only abuse each other but the reality of their social service never comes to light, Modi said. “The days of hard core politics are gradually passing out,” he said..
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