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    IndiaOpposition forces election to LS Speaker's post, fields K Suresh as joint...

    Opposition forces election to LS Speaker’s post, fields K Suresh as joint candidate


    New Delhi, Jun 25: The opposition bloc on Tuesday forced an election for the Speaker's post by fielding Kodikunnil Suresh as its joint candidate after it accused the ruling NDA of disregarding convention of not giving the Deputy Speaker's position to them.

    Top leaders of the opposition bloc held a key meeting at Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge's residence on Tuesday night, where they discussed the strategy for Wednesday's election.

    Initial chinks were seen in the opposition camp with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) claiming that they were not consulted before fielding Suresh as the joint candidate. The TMC, however, attended the meeting at Kharge's residence.

    Floor leaders of the Congress, TMC, DMK, AAP, NCP, Shiv Sena, RJD, JMM, Samajwadi Party, CPM, CPI and RSP were among those present at Kharge's residence.

    NCP (SP) president Sharad Pawar also said he advised his allies in the INDIA bloc that Lok Sabha Speaker should be elected unopposed, but the opposition must get the Deputy Speaker's post which has been a parliamentary convention.

    The Congress has already issued a three-line whip to all its newly elected MPs to be present during the voting on Wednesday's election.

    Suresh takes on NDA's Om Birla, who has been given a renomination by the ruling dispensation, in a rare election being held after 47 long years.

    This will be the fourth time after many years that an election to the post of Speaker will be held, as the nominee is normally elected unopposed.

    While elections to the Speaker's post were common before Independence, the position of the presiding officer of the Lok Sabha has witnessed contests only three times in Independent India –“ in 1952, 1967 and 1976.

    The election was forced by the opposition after the government did not give an assurance to the opposition that the post of the Deputy Speaker will be given to them.

    Minister Rajnath Singh reached out to Kharge for a consensus over the post, but the initiative failed after the pre-condition set by the opposition.

    Congress leader K C Venugopal and DMK's T R Baalu walked out of the defence minister's office, refusing to endorse NDA candidate Birla without an assurance on the Deputy Speaker's post.

    Venugopal said the BJP refused to give a commitment on offering the Deputy Speaker's post to the opposition, even though Union ministers Amit Shah, J P Nadda and Singh tried to persuade the opposition leaders to endorse the NDA nominee but in vain.

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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