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No consensus on speaker, INDIA bloc's K Suresh fielded against Om Birla for post

New Delhi: 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.
BJP MP Piyush Goyal said there was no precedent to suggest that the deputy speaker's post must go to the opposition, and the opposition was needlessly choosing a showdown.
"They said first decide the name for Deputy Speaker then we will support the Speaker candidate. We condemn such politics. A good tradition would have been to choose the Speaker unanimously. The Speaker does not belong to any party or opposition; he belongs to the entire House. Similarly, the Deputy Speaker also does not belong to any party or group; he belongs to the entire House and hence there should be consent of the House. Such conditions that only a particular person or from a particular party should be the Deputy Speaker, do not fit into any tradition of the Lok Sabha."
Earlier, senior cabinet minister Rajnath Singh had been reaching out to opposition leaders on behalf of the government in a bid to build consensus for the post of Speaker and deputy Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that they had conveyed to Rajnath Singh that the opposition is ready to extend support to NDA's Speaker candidate, but the post of Deputy Speaker should be given to the opposition.
Interacting with the media on Tuesday, Rahul said, "We have said to Rajnath Singh that we will support their candidate for Speaker but the convention is that the post of Deputy Speaker be given to the opposition."
Rahul also alleged that opposition leaders are getting "insulted."
"Today it is written in the newspaper that PM Modi has said that the opposition should cooperate with the government constructively. Rajnath Singh called Mallikarjun Kharge and he asked him to extend support to the Speaker. The entire opposition said that we would support the speaker, but the convention is that the Deputy Speaker post should be given to the opposition. Rajnath Singh said that he would call back Mallikarjun Kharge but he has not done that yet. PM Modi is asking for cooperation from the opposition, but our leader is getting insulted," said Rahul Gandhi.
The Lok Sabha Speaker will be elected on June 26. On June 27, President Murmu is scheduled to address a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament.
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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