- The 56-year-old has been associated with the BJP youth wing
- He is considered close to party chief and home minister Amit Shah
- Sumitra Mahajan, 76, was the Speaker in the last Lok Sabha
BJP lawmaker Om Birla is set to be the next Speaker in the Lok Sabha, the opposition has accepted his candidature, sources said. The two-time lawmaker from Rajasthan's Kota is considered close to party chief and home minister Amit Shah.
"The BJD, Shiv Sena, Akali Dal, National People''s Party, Mizo National Front, Lok Janshakti Party, YSRCP, JDU, AIADMK and Apna Dal have given the notice to support Birla's candidature for the post of Lok Sabha Speaker," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi told reporters. "I have spoken to Congress leaders K Suresh and Gulab Nabi Azad. They have not signed till now but I think they would not oppose," he added.
Earlier today, the party's choice was confirmed by Amita Birla, the wife of Om Birla."It is a very proud and a happy moment for us. We are very thankful to the cabinet for choosing him," she was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Mr Birla, however, was cautious. "I have no information, I had just went to meet the Working President as a 'karyakarta'," he told ANI while leaving the house of JP Nadda, who was named the party's Working President last night.
The 56-year-old has been associated with the BJP youth wing and has also been in charge of the organisational revamp in Rajasthan in 2018.
The appointment of the NDA candidate is certain in view of the overwhelming numbers of the alliance in the Lok Sabha. The BJP alone has 303 members in the 542-seat house. The NDA strength has crossed 350.
The 17th Lok Sabha was convened yesterday and while the lawmakers took oath, informal discussions started regarding the Speaker's post.
Sumitra Mahajan, 76, who was the Speaker in the last Lok Sabha, came up against the BJP's age bar this time and did not contest the election.
Yesterday, BJP lawmaker Virendra Kumar was named the pro tem Speaker. After being sworn-in by President Ram Nath Kovind, he administered oath to the new members. With 542 members to be sworn in, the oath ceremony is expected to continue today.