The BJP leadership, primarily Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, continues to spring surprises, this time by fielding Kota-Bundi MP Om Birla as the NDA nominee for the post of Lok Sabha Speaker, triggering speculation over what he brings to the table.
Little known till yesterday, 57-year-old Birla received a loud cheer when he rose to take the oath as an MP today.
The NDA nominee is also being supported by non-NDA Biju Janata Dal and YSR Congress Party in the election slated for tomorrow.
The Congress-led UPA supports Birla, saying it would await the government’s move on the election of Deputy Speaker, which conventionally goes to the Opposition.
Re-elected to the Lok Sabha for a second term, Birla defeated Congress’ Ramnarain Meena by over 2.5 lakh votes. Also, a three-time MLA from Rajasthan, if elected, Birla will succeed eight-term MP Sumitra Mahajan as the Speaker — the sixth most important position after the President, Vice-President and Prime Minister, Governors and former Presidents.