After electing BJP MP Om Birla as the Lok Sabha Speaker, NDA is yet to finalise a name for the Deputy Speaker’s post that usually goes to a party that is not part of the ruling side.
Conventionally, the post goes to a party which is not a member of the ruling dispensation. In 2014, BJP had handed the post to AIADMK MP M Thambidurai as an olive branch to the Tamil Nadu party, with whom the BJP contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as an alliance partner.
This time the post can go to Shiv Sena, BJD or even JD(U).
Sources say Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray who shares a tumultuous relationship with the Bharatiya Janata Party may have a strong claim for the post. The party is likely to propose Bhawana Gawali as its nominee for the post, said sources.
Meanwhile, earlier reports claimed that Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress Party is most likely to turn down the post if they are not assured of special status for Andhra Pradesh.
YSR Congress will not accept the post till the time the Centre grants special status to Andhra Pradesh. YSR Congress, which is fourth largest party with 22 members in the 17th Lok Sabha, wants to maintain equidistance from both the ruling and opposition sides, said sources.
On the other hand, Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janta Dal (BJD) is also keen on bagging the Deputy Speaker’s post as it wishes to maintain a safe distance from both BJP and Congress.
NDA’s Bihar partner Janata Dal (United) led by Nitish Kumar is also in running for the post as the party has already rejected Cabinet berths in the Modi government.
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