As the new Modi Government takes charge, speculations over the next Lok Sabha speaker have also started. Sumitra Mahajan leaves the post after a successful term in the 16th Lok Sabha after she had pulled back from contesting in the general elections. The Speaker of the Lok Sabha is one of the most prestigious positions in the Parliament, the Speaker is the highest authority in the House and also the custodian of the Parliament building.
Sumitra Mahajan, who also was the first Speaker coming from the BJP, had announced her decision to not fight the Lok Sabha polls given BJP’s party policy of restricting the age of its candidates. This was also Sumitra Mahajan’s eighth term as a parliamentarian. Several names of senior parliamentarians are making rounds as the top contenders for the speaker’s post. Name of senior BJP leader and lawmaker representing Purvi Champaran Parliamentary constituency, Radha Mohan Singh has surely been leading the speculations.
Born in a farmer’s family at Narha Panapur village in the East Champaran district of Bihar, Radha Mohan Singh is one of the senior most leaders elected to the 17th Lok Sabha. He was elected to 9th Lok Sabha, 11th Lok Sabha, 13th Lok Sabha, 15th Lok Sabha, 16th Lok Sabha and currently a member of 17th Lok Sabha.
Radha Mohan Singh, a low profile RSS worker, whom Prime Minister Narendra Modi described as his “friend” during an election rally in Motihari, Bihar in 2014, comes to the table with decades of experience as a Parliamentarian and a clean and exemplary work record as the Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare in the first term of Modi Government.
After not being figured in PM Modi’s new Council of Ministers, it is much more likely that the leader of his stature will be in a key position and the post of speaker in LS is certainly a fitting one. Radha Mohan Singh has also served at various state and national level organizational posts in the BJP. With decades of experience backing him, Radha Mohan Singh’s reach across party lines makes him a suitable candidate as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
Other top leaders in the race include 8 times Member of Parliament and former Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi. Given her seniority and experience in the House, Maneka Gandhi can also emerge as a choice for the Speaker’s post. However, her political altercations might prove to be a roadblock to for the Speakers post. Names of other senior BJP leaders like Jual Oram, Virendra Kumar and S.S. Ahluwalia are also making rounds as contenders for the Speaker’s post.
Virendra Kumar Khatik, Pro tem Speaker of the house will be administering the oath of office to the newly-elected Lok Sabha members and preside over the first meeting of Lok Sabha, in which the Speaker will be elected. The first term of the Lok Sabha convenes on the 17th of June, with the elections for the Speaker taking place most likely on 19th of June.