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Row over appointment of Mahtab as pro-tem speaker

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The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha to begin today; INDIA MPs to march together to Lok Sabha

NEW DELHI, June 23: Amid a row over the appointment of pro-tem speaker of the Lok Sabha, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Sunday asked why BJP MP Bhartruhari Mahtab was chosen for the post over his party colleague Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi, who is also in his seventh consecutive term.
The Congress has accused the government of “destroying parliamentary norms” by choosing seven-term BJP MP Bhartruhari Mahtab as pro-tem Speaker instead of eight-term Lok Sabha member Kodikunnil Suresh who should have got it as per the convention of naming the senior-most MP to the post.
In a post on ‘X’ on Sunday, Ramesh said, “Kodikunnil Suresh of the INC, who is in his eighth term, should have been Speaker Protem. But Bhartruhari Mahtab of the BJP has been appointed on the flimsy grounds that he has a greater claim because this is his seventh consecutive term.”
“If this argument is adopted, then why has Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi, a BJP MP who is also in his seventh consecutive term, not been considered? Is it because he is a Dalit like Suresh?” he asked
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju has said they have picked Mahtab as he has the longest uninterrupted tenure as a member of the Lower House.
He said that Suresh, though an eight-term MP, was not a member of the Lok Sabha in 1998 and 2004 and hence did not have an uninterrupted tenure.
INDIA MPs to march together to Parliament
Lok Sabha MPs from the INDIA bloc will assemble in the Parliament complex Monday morning and will march to the House together on the first day of the first session of 18th Lok Sabha, sources said.
The MPs will gather near Gate No 2 of the old Parliament building, where the Gandhi statue once stood, a senior opposition party leader said.
The Gandhi statue, which was a popular protest site for MPs in the Parliament complex, was recently relocated along with 14 other statues that dotted the complex. All these were installed in one area, Prerna Sthal.
The politician said some MPs will hold copies of the Constitution of India and they will all walk down to the Parliament building.
The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha will see oath-taking by newly elected members, followed by election of the Lok Sabha Speaker on June 26 and President Droupadi Murmu’s address to joint sitting of both the Houses on June 27. (PTI)

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