Vacant Since 2019: Opposition Insists on Deputy Speaker Post

The ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has rejected the Opposition’s demand for the Deputy Speaker’s post in exchange for their support of the NDA’s Speaker candidate. As a result, the NDA’s nominee, Om Birla, was elected Speaker by a voice vote on Wednesday. “We have said to Rajnath Singh that we will support their Speaker (candidate), but the convention is that the post of Deputy Speaker will be given to the opposition,” Congress MP Rahul Gandhi stated on June 25.

The post of Deputy Speaker has been vacant since 2019, with the Opposition claiming it as a “parliamentary tradition” that the position should go to them if the Speaker is from the ruling party. Congress leader Sachin Pilot and other opposition figures have emphasized the importance of maintaining this tradition for a healthy democracy. AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi also expressed hope that the NDA government would ease Speaker Om Birla’s workload by appointing a Deputy Speaker.

Union Minister and BJP leader Pralhad Joshi responded by stating that while the NDA is open to discussing the Deputy Speaker’s post, it should not be made a precondition for supporting the Speaker candidate. Historically, the Deputy Speaker has not always come from the Opposition. In 2014, AIADMK’s M Thambidurai, an NDA ally, held the position.

The Speaker plays a crucial role in the Lok Sabha, stepping in for the Speaker when needed and holding independent authority. The Deputy Speaker also chairs parliamentary committees if appointed as a member and occupies a high rank in the order of precedence. The election process for the Deputy Speaker is similar to that of the Speaker, with the Constitution mandating the selection but not necessarily enforcing a strict timeline.

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