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Congress raises questions of BJP MP Bhartruhari Mahtab becoming Pro-tem Speaker

NEW DELHI: President Draupadi Murmu has appointed BJP MP Bhartrihari Mahtab as the Protem Speaker of the 18th Lok Sabha, who will administer the oath of membership of the Lok Sabha to the new MPs,accordng to the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju through X.

The first session of the Lok Sabha will run from 24 June to 3 July and the newly elected members will take oath on 24 and 25 June. However, the Congress has raised objections by raising questions on the appointment of Mahtab as the Protem Speaker.

Congress has accused of bypassing the tradition of making a senior MP the Protem Speaker. Kiren Rijiju wrote on X, "The President has appointed Lok Sabha member Bhartruhari Mahtab as the Protem Speaker under Article 95 (1) of the Constitution, he will remain in this post till the Lok Sabha Speaker is elected."

 

 He further wrote, "The President has appointed Lok Sabha members Suresh Kodikunnil, TR. Balu, Radha Mohan Singh, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Sudip Bandyopadhyay as assistants to the Protem Speaker under Article 99 of the Constitution so that they can conduct the oath taking of the newly elected members of the 18th Lok Sabha."

Questioning the appointment of BJP MP Bhartruhari Mahtab as the Protem Speaker of the 18th Lok Sabha, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that according to tradition, the MP who has completed the longest tenure is appointed as the Protem Speaker for the first two days, when all the newly elected MPs are sworn in. The most senior MPs in the 18th Lok Sabha are Kodikunnil Suresh (Congress) and Virendra Kumar (BJP), who are now completing their 8th term. Virendra Kumar is now a Union Minister and hence it was expected that Kodikunnil Suresh would be the Protem Speaker. Instead, Bhartrihari Mahtab, a 7-time MP, has been appointed as the Protem Speaker. He was a 6-time BJD MP and is now a BJP MP.

Bhartrihari Mahtab is a 6-time MP from Cuttack Lok Sabha seat in Odisha. In the Lok Sabha elections, BJP's Bhartrihari Mahtab defeated BJD's S.Mishra by 57,077 votes. It is worth noting that the results of the Lok Sabha elections 2024 were declared on June 4. The swearing-in ceremony of the new government was held on June 9. Narendra Modi took oath as Prime Minister for the third consecutive time. In the Lok Sabha elections, the NDA won 293 seats whereas, India alliance has got 234 seats. Others have got 17 seats.

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