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LS Speaker chosen by consensus since Independence

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New Delhi, June 17: If the opposition forces an election to the post of Speaker of the Lok Sabha next week, it would be the first such instance in the history of independent India as the presiding officer has always been chosen by a consensus.
Elections to the post of the Speaker of the Central Legislative Assembly, as Parliament was called in the pre-independence days, were held for the first time on August 24, 1925, when Swarajist Party nominee Vitthalbhai J Patel won the coveted post against T Rangachariar.
Patel, the first non-official member to be elected as the Speaker, won the maiden election with a narrow margin of two votes. Patel had polled 58 votes against 56 garnered by Rangachariar.
Since Independence, Lok Sabha Speakers have been chosen by consensus, and only M A Ayyangar, G S Dhillon, Balram Jakhar and G M C Balayogi have retained the coveted posts in the subsequent Lok Sabhas.
Jakhar was the Speaker of the seventh and the eighth Lok Sabhas and holds the distinction of being the only presiding officer to complete two full terms.
Balayogi was chosen as the Speaker of the 12th Lok Sabha, which had a tenure of 19 months.
He was also chosen as the Speaker of the 13th Lok Sabha on October 22, 1999, till his death in a chopper crash on March 3, 2002.
Buoyed by its increased strength in the Lok Sabha, the opposition INDIA bloc is now aggressively demanding the post of the Deputy Speaker, which by convention is held by a member of an opposition party.
However, in the last Lok Sabha, the post of Deputy Speaker remained vacant, drawing criticism from the opposition.
“We will force a contest for the post of Lok Sabha Speaker if the government does not agree to have an opposition leader as Deputy Speaker,” a senior Congress leader said.
The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha will begin on June 24 during which new members of the Lower House will take oath and the Speaker will be elected.
As per convention, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will move the motion for election of the Speaker in the Lok Sabha on June 26.
Senior Congress leader K Suresh is the seniormost member of the Lok Sabha and is expected to be appointed as Pro-Tem Speaker, before whom the members would take oath.
President Droupadi Murmu will address the joint sitting of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha on June 27.
The INDIA bloc won 233 seats in the Lok Sabha elections, while the BJP-led NDA won 293 seats to retain power for the third consecutive term.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) with 16 seats and Janata Dal (U) with 12 seats are the biggest allies of the BJP which bagged 240 seats. (PTI)

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