BJP won in the first round of messages and signals, know the story of Rahul's change in attitude in 24 hours

Ananya Shroff
8 Min Read

New Delhi: The failed negotiations and show of strength between the ruling party and the opposition had set the stage for a rare contest for the post of Lok Sabha Speaker. But now the ruling party's candidate Om Birla has been elected the Lok Sabha Speaker by voice vote. After the election, he was brought to the chair by the leader of the House and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as opposition leader Rahul Gandhi. Just 24 hours ago, Rahul Gandhi had shown a tough attitude on the unanimous motion for the Lok Sabha Speaker. Then Rahul had called it insulting that Defense Minister Rajnath Singh did not call Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge again as assured.

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Why did the government not budge even an inch on the opposition's conditions?

However, in political circles, this is being seen as three clear messages from the government. Congress and some allies of India Block are so excited by their better numbers in the House this time that they have put a condition of unanimity on the NDA's Lok Sabha Speaker candidate. They remained adamant on the demand for the post of Deputy Speaker instead of Speaker. On the other hand, the government not only refused to accept the condition, but also put aside the narrative of tradition.

On the first day of the Lok Sabha, the opposition behaved as if they were the undeclared winners of the Lok Sabha elections, to which the government replied that nothing had changed by rejecting the condition of unanimity on the election of the Speaker. Those who have dealt with snakes would know the art of dealing with an injured snake as well.

Senior MP of the ruling party

Clear message of Modi government- nothing has changed

In this denial of the government, the leaders of both the ruling party and the opposition are well aware of the deliberate message being given by Modi Government 3.0. That is, the seats may have decreased, but the attitude has not changed and will not change. The government has made it clear that there will be no significant difference in the attitude of this government from the previous two governments. By giving the way forward to the opposition, which is ready to contest in the election of the Lok Sabha Speaker, the government has made it clear that it has so much control over the numbers in the House and the allies of the NDA that it no longer needs to adopt a defensive stance against the opposition.

Summarising the developments, a senior MP said, “I call it a case of tit for tat. If the opposition behaved on the first day of Lok Sabha as if they were the undeclared winners of the Lok Sabha elections, the government responded by rejecting the condition of consensus on the Speaker's election as if nothing has changed. Those who have dealt with snakes would know the art of dealing with an injured snake as well.”

Now what will happen to the post of Vice President?

With the House set to witness more uproar in the coming days, Parliament is debating whether the government will give the post of Deputy Chairman to an NDA ally in future or keep it hanging like in the last two terms. The unity in the Indian bloc is also being tested in the 18th Lok Sabha, as the first election to the House is being held. Ally TMC MPs refused to sign the nomination papers of alliance candidate Kodikunnil Suresh. The TMC tried to distance itself by arguing that the Congress did not consider it necessary to discuss the matter with Mamata Banerjee 'till the last minute'. This exposed the discord within the opposition camp for the first time since the Lok Sabha elections.

Om Birla created a record as soon as he won, but will he get a chance to create history as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha?

Did Congress lose due to TMC's move?

After Trinamool leader Sudip Bandopadhyay spoke to Congress' KC Venugopal to convey Mamata's displeasure, Rahul Gandhi swung into action. He spoke to Mamata's nephew Abhishek Banerjee. Damage control exercises then began and the Trinamool supremo agreed to send party MPs Derek O'Brien and Kalyan Banerjee to the India Block leaders' meeting at Mallikarjun Kharge's house on Tuesday night to discuss the strategy for the House. It is learnt that Trinamool representatives at the meeting said that though the party is now in support of K Suresh, the party leadership will make it clear on Wednesday whether the opposition should settle the Speaker's election by actual voting or just by voice vote. Now that Om Birla has been elected Lok Sabha Speaker, it is clear what decision the TMC would have taken.

SP-NCP also gave a 'shock'

In fact, SP and NCP had also objected to Congress for not taking Mamata Banerjee's opinion while deciding the name of K Suresh. This is also a warning to many in the opposition that the Congress leadership will always have to keep in mind the respect of regional stalwarts, who have a better strike rate against the BJP. For this, the Congress party will have to show a lot of sensitivity towards the sentiments of the allies.

The figures are not clear

On the other hand, many believe that the ruling party will use this contest not only to win the Speaker's post but also to score some points against the opposition and show that it has dominance in the House. The mood of both the opposition parties is being monitored from now on. If not during the Speaker's contest, then in the future, especially when Rahul Gandhi will be actively working as the Leader of the Opposition. Many believed that the Speaker's election will also give an opportunity to those parties, which are not in any camp right now, to express their attachment. With Om Birla being re-elected as Speaker, the focus was more on which party is able to garner additional numbers or faces a leak. But due to the elections being held without voting, it will not be clear at the moment. If there was voting, it would have been known how many MPs are in which camp. Now we have to wait for the future for this.

With inputs from CL Manoj of The Economic Times

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