Sumitra Mahajan, an eight-time BJP member of Parliament from Indore, is set to take over as the next Speaker of the Lok Sabha, BJP sources confirmed today. The new Speaker will be elected on Friday. Ms Mahajan will be only the second woman Speaker ever; Meira Kumar, who presided over the House for the last five years, was the first.
The death of senior cabinet minister Gopinath Munde in a road accident yesterday has cast a shadow of gloom over what was to have been a very special day for the BJP. A new session of Parliament begins today and the party gets to occupy the treasury benches after a decade.
Today, the Congress’s Kamal Nath, the senior-most member of the House, took oath as pro-tem Speaker at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Presidential Palace. The Lok Sabha will convene soon and it will be adjourned after paying tribute to Mr Munde, who had won the Beed Lok Sabha seat in the general election last month, union parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu said.
Till a regular Speaker is elected, a pro-tem Speaker administers oath to a new House and conducts proceedings. Speaking to NDTV earlier today, Mr Nath said, “Politics has changed in terms of responsibilities. Perception and aspiration of people has changed,” and added that the Congress “will work to be a constructive opposition.”
The 543 newly elected MPs were scheduled to be sworn in over two days, but the government will now attempt to fast-track that process and complete it tomorrow. On Monday, June 9, the President will address a joint session of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The week long session ends on June 11.