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Meira next LS speaker
Published on 3 Jun. 2009 1:17 AM IST
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Congress’ candidate Meira Kumar will be elected unanimously the first woman Speaker of the Lok Sabha on Wednesday as she is the only candidate in the fray after nominations were filed today on her behalf by parties across the political spectrum. The election of Congress’ dalit face, who resigned as Union Minister on Sunday three days after she took oath, now remains a mere formality in the House on Wednesday when members are expected to approve her choice by a voice vote. Ms. Kumar called it a “historic moment” for the country that a woman has been considered for the post and an “overwhelming moment” for her. Before the deadline expired, a UPA delegation led by Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee submitted 13 sets of nomination papers proposing the name of the 64-year-old daughter of late Jagjivan Ram to Lok Sabha Secretary General P D T Achary. The nominations had the signatures of leaders of all the parties including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Leader of the Opposition L K Advani. Lok Sabha secretariat sources said that they had not received any nomination papers other than the 13 sets submitted by the UPA. “We have filed 13 sets of nomination papers. The first set was signed by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and I have seconded it,” Mukherjee told reporters at Parliament House. Meanwhile, Karia Munda, a six-time MP, is set to be elected Deputy Speaker as his candidature was announced by the BJP. “The BJP’s Central Parliamentary Board held a meeting today after the government’s proposal that as per the convention that the Deputy Speaker’s post be given to the main opposition party.” “The Parliamentary Board decided to name six-time party MP in the Lok Sabha Karia Munda as the candidate for the post,” BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley told reporters. 72-year-old Munda was a minister in the Morarji Desai government and later in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee ministry. He was earlier an MLA in Bihar and later in Jharkhand. When asked whether Munda’s candidature was done with the aim of winning tribal support for the party, Jaitley said, “It is true that Munda belongs to the ST community, but along with that he has a vast legislative experience and this decision was made considering his seniority.” Sushma, Advani’s deputy CNN-IBN reported that the BJP has chosen Sushma Swaraj as the deputy leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and she could take over as leader in the Lower House when LK Advani steps down, probably at the end of the year. A formal announcement is likely to be made shortly. A meeting of the BJP’s Parliamentary board is on at the moment. A fiery orator, Swaraj has been a general secretary of the party and is best remembered for taking on Congress president Sonia Gandhi from Bellary in 1999. She has been a former Chief Minister of Delhi as well. An announcement will also be made about the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha. The race here is between Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley. However, Jaitley is known to be reluctant to take this post. The deputy leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha will be SS Ahluwalia.

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