Negotiation over the post of Lok Sabha Speaker – a prized position allowing the party in the hot-seat to control House protocol and proceedings – will resume at 5 pm with a meeting of union ministers and the ruling BJP’s allies at Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s Delhi home.

The BJP, thanks to brute majorities after the 2014 and 2019 elections, was unchallenged then in nominating Sumitra Mahajan and Om Birla to the post. This time, though, it doesn’t quite have the numbers; Mr Modi’s party is the single-largest in Parliament with 240 seats but is 32 short of majority, meaning it relies on Nitish Kumar’s JDU and Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP to remain in power.

If the Opposition INDIA bloc 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, the lower house of the Imperial Legislative Council – the legislature of British India, were held for the first time on August 24, 1925 when Swaraj Party nominee Vitthalbhai J Patel won the coveted post against T Rangachariar. The post of Speaker of the Central Legislative Assembly saw a contest on 6 occasions between 1925 and 1946. Vitthalbhai Patel was re-elected to the post unanimously in 1927 after the completion of his first term. Patel quit the post on April 28, 1930 after the Civil Disobedience call by Mahatma Gandhi.

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