Relax, You Lost the Election, Reminds BJP as Congress Objects to Mahtab as Pro-Tem Speaker Over Seniority

4 weeks ago

Last Updated: June 21, 2024, 09:05 IST

The pro-tem Speaker administers the oath to the newly elected members of the Lok Sabha and presides over the Lower House till the election of the Speaker. (PTI/File)

The pro-tem Speaker administers the oath to the newly elected members of the Lok Sabha and presides over the Lower House till the election of the Speaker. (PTI/File)

Shortly after seven-term MP and BJP leader Bhartruhari Mahtab was announced as the Lok Sabha pro-tem Speaker, the Congress accused the government of "destroying parliamentary norms" by ignoring the claim of its leader K Suresh, an eight-term Lok Sabha MP, to the post

Seven-term parliamentarian and BJP leader Bhartruhari Mahtab was on Thursday appointed pro-tem Speaker of the Lok Sabha, bucking the largely followed convention of appointing the senior-most member to the post, drawing sharp objections from the opposition Congress and strong counter from the BJP.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju announced that President Droupadi Murmu has appointed Mahtab as the pro-tem Speaker and that he will be assisted by senior members Kodikunnil Suresh (Congress), TR Baalu (DMK), Radha Mohan Singh and Faggan Singh Kulaste (both BJP) and Sudip Bandyopadhyay (TMC). Mahtab, who switched sides from the BJD to the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, won the Cuttack parliamentary seat.

The pro-tem Speaker administers the oath to the newly elected members of the Lok Sabha and presides over the Lower House till the election of the Speaker. The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha will begin on June 24. The newly elected members will take oath on June 24-25. The election of the Speaker is scheduled to take place on June 26.

CONGRESS OBJECTION

Shortly after Rijiju’s announcement, the Congress accused the BJP-led NDA government of “destroying parliamentary norms” by ignoring the claim of its leader K Suresh, an eight-term Lok Sabha MP, to the post of the pro-tem Speaker.

“In yet another attempt at destroying parliamentary norms, Bhartruhari Mahtab, a seven-term MP, has been appointed the pro-tem Speaker, superseding Kodikunnil Suresh, who will be entering his eighth term,” AICC general secretary KC Venugopal said in a post on X.

In yet another attempt at destroying parliamentary norms, Mr. Bhartruhari Mahtab (a 7-term MP) has been appointed the Pro-Tem Speaker, superseding Sh. @kodikunnilMP, who will be entering his 8th term. It is an unquestioned norm that the senior most MP presides over the…

— K C Venugopal (@kcvenugopalmp) June 20, 2024

Congress leader Manickam Tagore, in a post on X, said: “First mistake as Parliamentary Affairs Minister: 7-term BJP MP Bhartruhari Mahtab chosen as Protem Speaker of Lok Sabha over senior-most Dalit MP Kodikunnil Suresh of Congress.”

First mistake as Parliamentary Affairs Minister: 7-term BJP MP Bhartruhari Mahtab chosen as Protem Speaker of Lok Sabha over senior-most Dalit MP Kodikkunnil Suresh of Congress. What are the minister's intentions? #BiasedDecisions #ProtemSpeaker https://t.co/HfFq20ZYo4— Manickam Tagore .Bமாணிக்கம் தாகூர்.ப (@manickamtagore) June 20, 2024

Reacting to the development, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said: “MP who has served the maximum terms is appointed Speaker Protem for the first two days when the oath is administered to all newly elected MPs… The senior-most MPs in the 18th Lok Sabha are Kodikunnil Suresh (INC) and Virendra Kumar (BJP), both of who are now serving their eighth term.”

By convention, the MP who has served the maximum terms is appointed Speaker Protem for the first two days when oath is administered to all newly elected MPs.The seniormost MPs in the 18th Lok Sabha are Kodikunnil Suresh (INC) and Virendra Kumar (BJP), both of who are now…

— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) June 20, 2024

“The latter is now a Union minister and hence it was expected that Kodikunnil Suresh would be the Speaker Protem. Instead, a seven-term MP, Bhartruhari Mahtab has been appointed Speaker Protem. He was a BJD MP for six terms and is now a BJP MP,” Ramesh said on X.

BJP COUNTER

Reacting to the criticism, the BJP said the Congress should “relax”, reminding the grand old party that it had lost the Lok Sabha elections.

“You have just lost an election. Relax. Reflect on third consecutive defeat, instead of whining about everything,” BJP IT Cell chief Amit Malviya said on X.

With 98 seats, it is not for the Congress to decide who the Protem Speaker should be. It is above their pay grade. So, instead of punching above weight, the Congress must pick veteran MP Kodikunnil Suresh as the LoP. Anyway, Third Time Fail Rahul Gandhi is not up for it. https://t.co/PmhoXJKFQW— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) June 20, 2024

The BJP said the Congress should “relax” as the grand old party has lost the Lok Sabha elections.

WHAT CONVENTION SAYS

Though the norm is to appoint the senior-most MP as pro-tem Speaker, this convention has been bucked on several occasions.

The practice of appointing the senior-most MP as the pro-tem Speaker was not followed in 1956 when Sardar Hukam Singh was appointed to the post.

In 1977, DN Tiwari was appointed as pro-tem Speaker. He, too, was not the senior-most member of the House.

In 2019, Virendra Kumar, then a seven-term member of the Lok Sabha, was appointed as pro-tem Speaker. Maneka Gandhi was the senior-most member of the previous Lok Sabha being an eight-term member.

News Desk

The News Desk is a team of passionate editors and writers who break and analyse the most important events unfolding in India and abroad. From live upd

...Read More

Read Full Article at Source