Anti Congressism: BJP wants Deputy Speaker post for a regional party

New Delhi

Elections may come, elections may go; but BJP-Congress rivalry seems to be prevailing continuously.

Like the 16th Lok Sabha, the BJP is making a determined bid to deny Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker’s post to the Congress yet again.

The principal opposition party with only 52 seats in the Lower House still falls short of requisite numbers and hence may not get the formal recognition to the Congress floor leader as the Leader of the Opposition.

The Speaker has discretionary power to decide on that and in the 16th Lok Sabha, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had denied the privilege to Mallikarjun Kharge in the previous House.

Senior parliamentarian Mr. Kharge lost the polls in Gulbarga to Dr Umesh Jadhav of BJP.

Sources said as consensus was built up in the previous House in favour of M Thambidurai of AIADMK for the Deputy Speaker’s post and this time too the saffron party leadership has opened channels with a few regional parties including Y Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party of Andhra Pradesh and Biju Janata Dal of Odisha.

BJP is reported to have sent feelers on the same line to DMK also – which however remains a staunch ally of the Congress party.

Things are still at preliminary stage, sources said.

However, broad hints are that BJP floor managers are working in the line to give the post to an opposition member and thus the prospect of keeping the post for Shiv Sena – as was articulated by Maharashtra-based party – is remote.

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