Parties vie for Speaker’s post to strengthen influence

"Speaker's Post"

Key associates of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), have expressed interest in securing the Speaker’s post. This move appears to be a strategy to consolidate future influence and deter potential division within their ranks.

Prominent figures, N Chandrababu Naidu of TDP and Nitish Kumar, leader of JD(U) and Chief Minister of Bihar, are jointly advocating for an allied Speaker’s role, anticipating an enhanced strategic advantage in legislative affairs. This denotes increasing assertiveness by regional parties within their alliances, seeking to play more prominent roles in the broader government structure.

This proposition brings up memories of GMC Balayogi from TDP, who held the Speaker’s position under the Vajpayee administration in the late 1900s. Balayogi’s tenure, which included numerous legislative reforms, serves as a significant reference point and continues to inspire current politics.

In India, the Speaker’s post carries considerable weight due to powers under the anti-defection law, granting them control over the timing and substance of their decisions. This authority underscores the Speaker’s pivotal role in determining the direction of policies and laws.

Highlighting the speaker’s role, the Supreme Court recently gave Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar the final say in the anti-defection case against the Maharashtra Chief Minister and his diverged MLAs. This ruling, a result of claimed discrepancies in party loyalty, has not only stirred up dissent but has also drawn global attention to India’s legislative system.

Interestingly, the 17th Lok Sabha session ended without an elected Deputy Speaker, a departure from tradition.

Struggle for Speaker’s post to solidify influence

The lack of a Deputy Speaker from the opposition has sparked debates about democratic representation and raised questions about checks and balances in parliamentary democracy. This situation also revived discussions about the need for reform in India’s electoral process.

In recent elections, Shiv Sena emerged successful in Mumbai’s constituencies with narrow wins. In Mumbai North West, Ravindra Waikar defeated Amol Kirtikar by a mere 48 votes. Similarly, Sawant Atul Ananda won in Mumbai North East by a slim margin. In Bandra West, Ashish Jaiswal secured victory by just 35 votes. Remarkably, a recount of absentee votes was the deciding factor in these victories.

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