Lok Sabha has functioned for over a year without having a Deputy Speaker. he post of Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha has been one of the bones of contention between the BJP-led government and the Congress. This is the first time that the
Election of Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha
- Article 93 of the Constitution provides for election of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
- Like the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker is also elected by the Lok Sabha itself from amongst its members.
- According to rules of procedure and conduct of business in Lok Sabha, the election of a Deputy Speaker shall be held on such date as the Speaker may fix.
- But as per tradition, the Speaker needs the nod of the government for announcing such an election. Once this is notified, one or more motions can be moved by members for election of a nominee as the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
- No member can move a motion for his or her own election. If a properly moved motion is accepted by the simple majority of the house, the MP becomes the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
Role of Deputy Speaker
- Like the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker remains in office usually during the life of the Lok Sabha. However, he may vacate his office earlier in any of the following three cases:
. if he ceases to be a member of the Lok Sabha
. if he resigns by writing to the Speaker
. if he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the members of the Lok Sabha.
- The Deputy Speaker performs the duties of the Speaker’s office when it is vacant. He also acts as the Speaker when the latter is absent from the sitting of the House. In both the cases, he assumes all the powers of the Speaker.
- He also presides over the joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament, in case the Speaker is absent from such a sitting.
- The Deputy Speaker is not subordinate to the Speaker. He is directly responsible to the House.
- The Deputy Speaker has one special privilege; whenever he is appointed as a member of a parliamentary committee, he automatically becomes its chairman.
- When the Speaker presides over the House, the Deputy Speaker is like any other ordinary member of the House. He can speak in the House, participate in its proceedings and vote on any question before the House.
- Upto the 10th Lok Sabha, both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker were usually from the ruling party. Since the 11th Lok Sabha, there has been a consensus that the Speaker comes from the ruling party (or ruling alliance) and the post of Deputy Speaker goes to the main opposition party.
- The BJP has been reluctant in giving the Congress any powers that may prove to be a disadvantage. It was for this reason that the BJP refused to recognise the Congress’s claim to the Leader of Opposition post.
- The Congress failed to win the required 10% of the seats in the Lok Sabha but the government could still have given the position to the Congress.
- In the Lok Sabha, the BJP bucked from the tradition of offering the Deputy Speaker’s post to the Opposition. AIADMK leader M Thambidurai was the BJP’s choice in 2014. The AIADMK later became part of the NDA.
- This time around, the Modi government has not been able to find a suitable non-Congress non-UPA party to agree to accept the post of the Deputy Speaker. It is not willing to accept a Congress or Congress-friendly MP as the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha.