Centre should clarify why Kodikunnil Suresh was not chosen as LS pro tem Speaker: Pinarayi Vijayan

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday raised a sharp criticism against the Central Government for deliberately neglecting Congress MP Kodikunnil Suresh in the appointment of Lok Sabha pro tem speaker. He alleged that the BJP-led NDA government violated the parliamentary conventions by not giving the role to a most senior MP. Terming the Centre's decision as objectionable, Pinarayi Vijayan said the union government needs to clarify why Suresh, who is the most senior MP in the Lok Sabha, was not chosen for the position, as per convention.

The CM, in a statement issued by his office, also questioned what is the BJP's answer to those who suspect that Suresh was not considered for the post due to the 'upper caste politics' followed by the Sangh Parivar. Pinarayi Vijayan's remarks came a day after seven-term parliamentarian and BJP leader Bhartruhari Mahtab was made the pro tem Speaker of the Lok Sabha. The CM accused the BJP of being arrogant in allegedly not following parliamentary democratic principles and past conventions of the Lower House. He also pointed out that in the last Lok Sabha, the post of Deputy Speaker was vacant for the entire five years and the reason behind it was the BJP's attitude that no one belonging to the opposition can be accepted in that position.

Pinarayi Vijayan said that this haughty approach of the BJP leadership can only be seen as a challenge and insult to Indian democracy. Earlier in the day, Suresh, an eight-term MP, said that being the most senior Lok Sabha member, he ought to have been made the pro tem Speaker as per convention. The pro tem Speaker will administer the oath/affirmation to the newly elected members of the 18th Lok Sabha and preside over the Lower House till the election of the Speaker. The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha will begin on June 24. The newly elected members will take oath on June 24-25. The election of the Speaker is scheduled to take place on June 26.
(With PTI inputs)

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