With the appointment of Om Birla as the next Speaker of Lok Sabha, PM Modi and Amit Shah have flummoxed the so-called experts once again. Om Birla is currently an MP from Kota, Rajasthan. He has served as MP twice. He has also served as an MLA seven times. Om Birla will be filing his nomination today and the vote on his name will be held on Thursday. Considering BJP enjoys a brute majority in the Lok Sabha, his nomination would not be facing any hurdle and is likely to sail through. The choice of Om Birla is indeed a striking one as he is a relatively unknown face on the national front.
Amita Birla, wife of BJP MP Om Birla, who reportedly is the NDA candidate for the post of Lok Sabha Speaker: It is a very proud and a happy moment for us. We are very thankful to the cabinet for choosing him. (In pic 2&3 : BJP MP Om Birla) pic.twitter.com/lPYB2jQEQn
— ANI (@ANI) June 18, 2019
With the appointment of Om Birla, BJP has rewarded the electorate of Rajasthan. In the assembly elections held a few months earlier, the people of Rajasthan had unseated the BJP. However, in the Lok Sabha elections, Rajasthan wholeheartedly came out in the support of BJP and the party swept all the 25 seats. The loyalty and support of the people of Rajasthan has now been rewarded by the BJP by the appointment of Om Birla as the next Speaker of Lok Sabha.
The previous Speaker, Sumitra Mahajan, did not contest the elections this time. As such, there were speculations after the BJP’s victory as to who will be appointed on the prestigious post. Names of Santosh Gangwar, Prahlad Patel and Narendra Singh Tomar were speculated by the media as the next speaker. However, Maneka Gandhi was considered the front-runner for the post of Speaker. Maneka has won from Sultanpur constituency in Uttar Pradesh. During the campaign, she had created quite a controversy through her statements. Maneka Gandhi was kept out of the Modi cabinet this time around and as such it was speculated that she might be chosen as the Lok Sabha speaker.
However, the appointment of Om Birla is a clear snub to Maneka and Varun Gandhi. The BJP leadership has made it clear that it is going to keep a distance from the mother-son duo. In the last five years, there have been multiple occasions when it was speculated by the media that Varun might be shifting to the Congress party. His stance on several issues had fanned the speculations.
From the past few years, Varun Gandhi has often come in direct opposition to the party’s line. Varun Gandhi tried his effort best to undermine ‘Modi wave’ back in the 2014 general elections. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he contested from Sultanpur, his new constituency. Soon after BJP came to power in 2014 with a landslide majority, Maneka Gandhi told her workers to run a campaign that Varun Gandhi would be the next CM of UP. It created some tensions between Maneka Gandhi and the BJP which ultimately led to the dropping Varun Gandhi from the post of general secretary and he was also not allotted any other post. Now, this snub has made it clear that the stature of Maneka Gandhi and Varun Gandhi in the party has been severely curtailed.