First-time MLA MB Rajesh elected Speaker of Kerala Assembly

Thiruvananthapuram: Trithala MLA MB Rajesh was elected Speaker of Kerala's 15th Legislative Assembly on Tuesday. He defeated UDF's Kundara MLA PC Vishnunath. Rajesh got 96 votes while Vishnunath got 46 votes.

He would replace P Sreeramakrishnan, who led the House during the previous LDF government.

Three designate-MLAs who could not take oath as MLAs due to health reasons stayed away from the election.

Though Rajesh worked as a Member of Parliament for 10 years, this is his maiden entry to the assembly.

TS John, AC Jose are the only others who secured the Speaker post in their first term as MLA in the Kerala Assembly.

While TS John was made speaker after five-and-half years of the government in the 4th Legislative Assembly in February 1976, TS John became speaker after two years of the 6th Legislative Assembly in February 1982. This was after K Moideenkutty Haji and AP Kurien resigned from the Speaker posts respectively.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was the first one to cast his vote to elect the new speaker when the House proceedings began here in the morning.

After the result was announced, Vijayan and opposition leader V D Satheesan accompanied Rajesh to the chair of speaker.

Later, Pinarayi wished him all success in delivering his new responsibility in an exemplary manner.

"I wish the new speaker could protect the rights of the members of the House and to fulfill the responsibility of the government," the chief minister said.

V D Satheesan also congratulated the new speaker and extended him all the support from the opposition side.

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