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NDA Speaker Elected By Voice Vote, Heals Bruised Egos

Om Birla, the NDA nominee, was elected as the Lok Sabha Speaker on June 26, through a motion moved by PM Narendra Modi, which was adopted via voice votes. The only redeeming feature of the election that happened after 50 years in the Parliament was that there was no counting of votes. Election was by voice vote –by ‘Ayes’ and ‘Noes’. In fact after pro-tem speaker Bhartruhari Mahtab declared Om Birla as the Speaker of the lower house, JD(U) leader Rajiv Ranjan even wondered why there was no headcount or division. Mahtab told him that “it was beyond division of votes”. The Opposition, which had filed K Suresh as the Speaker candidate of the INDIA bloc, did not press for a division vote. It was not keen to showcase how much behind NDA it was in terms of numbers. The best part of the Speaker’s election was that it brought together PM Modi and Rahul Gandhi, who in his new role as Leader of the Opposition. Both of them were spotted shaking hands as they escorted Birla to the Speaker’s chair. As PM Modi noted Birla’s “warm smile brightens up the entire House,” and how efficiently he ran the House in the last 5 years .Opposition leaders were quick to harp on how he had suspended 146 MPs in 2023. Rahul Gandhi in his speech hoped Birla would allow the Opposition to speak and said “The question is not how efficiently the House is run. The question is how much of India’s voice is being allowed to be heard.” Congress sources say there would have been no hype over the Speaker’s election if only KC Venugopal had not bargained about deputy speaker’s post in his initial meeting with Rajnath Singh.