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"Disheartening that Congress has nominated its candidate": NDA leaders on Speaker election

New Delhi: After the INDIA bloc nominated its candidate for the Lok Sabha Speaker post, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Tuesday that the Speaker is not for a party; it is for the functioning of the House, and it is disheartening that Congress has nominated one.
"We had a conversation with all the floor leaders of the opposition regarding the post of speaker. The Speaker is not for a party, it is for the functioning of the House. The Speaker is elected unanimously. It is disheartening that Congress has nominated its candidate for Speaker. No election has ever taken place for the post of Speaker. Congress put this condition in place: if they get the post of Deputy Speaker, they will support our candidate for the Speaker's post. This give and take of posts of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker is not right," Rijiju said.
Union Minister Pralhad Joshi told ANI that the opposition is going to contest against them, although they have the numbers but this is against parliamentary traditions.
"Today, we had to move the proposal for the post of Speaker. Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah had a conversation with the leaders of the opposition, but they had a pre-condition to support our candidate for Speaker. When they raised the issue of the post of Deputy Speaker, Rajnath Singh said he would have discussions again when the Deputy Speaker is decided. They (Opposition) are going to contest against us, although we have the numbers, but this is against the Parliamentary traditions," Joshi said.
"I am making a request to the leaders of the opposition to rethink their decision and give support to electing the Speaker unanimously," he added.
Union Civil Aviation Minister and TDP leader Ram Mohan Naidu Kinjarapu slammed the opposition and said that democracy does not work on conditions.
"It is not a good thing to keep conditions. Democracy does not work on conditions. And as far as the Speaker election is concerned, whatever should have been done by the NDA, they all did it. Specially Rajnath Singh ji, being a senior leader, reached out to everyone. He also reached out to the opposition and told them that we are proposing Om Birla ji's name, so your help is needed in this. So when it was their turn to help, they put up a condition that we would do it only if you give us this (Deputy Speaker post). There was never a convention to support Speaker on a conditional basis," Naidu said.
Union Minister Ramdas Athawale told ANI, "In a democracy, they (INDIA Alliance) have the right to field their candidate, but we have a clear majority, we have more than a majority. The NDA candidate will win with a good number of votes."
Meanwhile, efforts by the BJP's top leadership to broker a consensus on the position of the speaker of the 18th Lok Sabha came to naught when the INDIA bloc decided to field 8-time MP K Suresh for the post. His nomination followed the filing of a nomination by the BJP's Kota MP Om Birla for the post.
Birla was the speaker in the 17th Lok Sabha as well.
This will be the first time that elections will be held for the Speaker of the lower house. Since independence, the Lok Sabha Speaker and deputy Speaker have been elected by consensus between the ruling party and the opposition. The elections for the post will be held on June 26.
The NDA, which has 293 MPs in the 543-member Lok Sabha, enjoys a clear majority, with the opposition INDIA bloc having 234 MPs.

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