INDIA bloc did not seek division of votes in Speaker's election in spirit of cooperation, says Opposition

The Congress on Wednesday said the INDIA constituents did not seek a division of votes in the Speaker's election as they wanted to maintain a spirit of consensus and cooperation.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh

New Delhi | The Opposition on Wednesday said the INDIA bloc constituents did not seek a division of votes in the Lok Sabha speaker's election as they wanted to give a "symbolic fight" and maintain a spirit of consensus and cooperation.

The Opposition had fielded Congress MP K Suresh as a joint candidate against NDA's choice Om Birla, who was eventually elected as Speaker for the second time in a row.

"INDIA parties exercised their democratic right and moved motions in support of Kodikunnil Suresh as Lok Sabha Speaker. Voice Vote was taken. Thereafter, INDIA parties could have insisted on division," Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a post on X.

"They did not do so. This is because they wanted a spirit of consensus and cooperation to prevail, a spirit singularly lacking in the actions of the PM and the NDA," he added.

"It was a symbolic fight and we did not allow election and followed the tradition. We also gave a message that there is a very strong opposition and its strong leader in the Lok Sabha," Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut said while responding to the Opposition not seeking a division of votes in the speaker's election.

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said, "As per the Constitution, we can nominate opposition leader for Speaker. That's why we nominated our candidate for the constitutional post. We knew that we don't have the numbers but it was necessary to remind them that we won't let them do whatever they please."

Congress Rajya Sabha MP Pramod Tiwari said, "Our protest was symbolic and democratic because they (NDA) were not giving us the position of Deputy Speaker by breaking convention."

JMM Rajya Sabha MP Mahua Maji said the INDIA bloc had demanded that the deputy speaker should be of the Opposition. "Election (for Speaker post) would not have happened if the government had agreed on giving the deputy Speaker post. The government demands for cooperation from the opposition, but it itself is not cooperating," she said.

Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee, however, said the rule says that if any member of the House asks for division, the pro-tem speaker in this case has to allow for a division.

"You can clearly see and hear from the footages of Lok Sabha that several members of the opposition camp sought a division of votes, but the motion was adopted without it.

"This is a clear testament to the fact that the ruling dispensation, here in the case is the BJP, doesn't have the numbers. This government is running without the numbers, it's illegal, immoral, unethical, and unconstitutional," Banerjee said.

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