Explained: How Is Lok Sabha Speaker Elected And All You Need To Know

Explained: How Is Lok Sabha Speaker Elected And All You Need To Know

As the Lok Sabha members take oaths representing their constituencies, let us delve into the important role played by the speaker and how they are elected.

Manasi KambleUpdated: Wednesday, June 12, 2024, 02:41 PM IST
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Lok Sabha | X

New Delhi: With Lok Sabha election results declared, all eyes are on who will become the Speaker of the 18th Lok Sabha. Narendra Modi's record 3rd term has a coalition NDA government in power and hence there are speculations that alliance partners may ask for Speaker's post. In the past also when there were alliance government in office, the post of Speaker was given to a coalition partner.

The Lok Sabha Speaker is elected by members of the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India. The process of electing the Speaker typically occurs at the beginning of a new Lok Sabha after a general election or whenever the position becomes vacant.

Electing The Lok Sabha Speaker

Any member of the Lok Sabha can propose another member's name for the position of Speaker. Usually, the Prime Minister, as the leader of the majority party, proposes a candidate. Once nominations are made, a motion is put to vote in the Lok Sabha. Members cast their votes through a voice vote or a division vote, where votes are counted electronically or by a show of hands. The candidate who receives a simple majority of votes is declared the speaker.

Power And Responsibilities

They preside over the meetings and proceedings of the Lok Sabha, maintaining order, ensuring that parliamentary rules are followed, and deciding on points of order raised during debates. The Speaker has the authority to interpret and enforce parliamentary rules and procedures, making rulings on matters of parliamentary privilege, points of order, and the admissibility of motions and amendments. In the case of a tie during a vote in the Lok Sabha, the Speaker has a casting vote to break the tie.

Crucial Decisions Taken By Lok Sabha Speakers

Six examples of controversial decisions taken by Lok Sabha speakers over the years:

Suspension of MPs: In 2014, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan suspended 25 Congress MPs for disrupting House proceedings, sparking debates on the extent of parliamentary privilege and freedom of speech.

Disqualification of MPs: In 2017, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan disqualified rebel AIADMK MPs Sasikala Pushpa and TTV Dhinakaran under the anti-defection law, leading to a political uproar in Tamil Nadu.

Controversial Bills: Speaker Meira Kumar's decision to allow the passage of the Telangana Bill in 2014, amidst chaos and protests, raised questions about the democratic process and the role of the speaker in ensuring fair debate.

Allocation of Time: In 2019, Speaker Om Birla's decision to extend the Lok Sabha session late into the night for the passage of key bills drew criticism from the opposition, citing fatigue and a lack of adequate debate.

Question Hour Suspension: During the 2020 monsoon session, Speaker Om Birla's decision to suspend Question Hour due to the COVID-19 pandemic was met with opposition criticism, arguing that it curtailed their ability to hold the government accountable.

Discretionary Powers: The discretionary powers wielded by Lok Sabha speakers, such as deciding on the admissibility of questions and motions, have often been controversial, with accusations of bias or favoritism leveled against speakers by opposing parties.

List Of Lok Sabha Speakers

Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar

Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar |

Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar: 15 May 1952 to 27 February 1956

M. A. Ayyangar

M. A. Ayyangar |

M. A. Ayyangar: 8 March 1956 to 10 May 1957 and 11 May 1957-16 April 1962

Sardar Hukam Singh

Sardar Hukam Singh |

Sardar Hukam Singh: 17 April 1962 to 16 March 1967

Neelam Sanjiva Reddy

Neelam Sanjiva Reddy |

Neelam Sanjiva Reddy: 17 March 1967 to 19 July 1969 and 26 March 1977 to 13 July 1977

Gurdial Singh Dhillon

Gurdial Singh Dhillon |

Gurdial Singh Dhillon: 8 August 1969 to 19 March 1971 and 22 March 1971-1 December 1975

Bali Ram Bhagat

Bali Ram Bhagat |

Bali Ram Bhagat: 15 January 1976 to 25 March 1977

Justice K S Hegde

Justice K S Hegde | Times Content

Justice K S Hegde: 21 July 1977 to 21 January 1980

Balram Jakhar

Balram Jakhar | X

Balram Jakhar: 22 January 1980 to 15 January 1985 and 16 January 1985 to 18 December 1989

Rabi Ray

Rabi Ray | X

Rabi Ray: 19 December 1989 to 9 July 1991   

Shivraj Patil

Shivraj Patil |

Shivraj Patil: 10 July 1991 to 22 May 1996

P. A. Sangma

P. A. Sangma |

P. A. Sangma: 23 May 1996 to 23 March 1998

G. M. C. Balayogi

G. M. C. Balayogi | X

G. M. C. Balayogi: 24 March 1998 to 19 October 1999 and 22 October 1999 to 03 March 2002

Manohar Joshi

Manohar Joshi | X

Manohar Joshi: 10 May 2002 to 02 June 2004

Somnath Chatterjee

Somnath Chatterjee | X

Somnath Chatterjee: 4 June 2004 to 30 May 2009

Meira Kumar

Meira Kumar |

Meira Kumar: 30 May 2009 to 04 June 2014

Sumitra Mahajan

Sumitra Mahajan | X

Sumitra Mahajan:  6 June 2014 to 16 June 2019

Om Birla

Om Birla |

Om Birla: 19 June 2019 - Present.

What Is A Pro Tem Speaker?

Article 180(1) of the Constitution establishes the pro-tem speaker law. According to Article 180(1) of the Constitution, "While the office of Speaker is vacant, the duties of the office shall be performed by the Deputy Speaker or, if the office of Deputy Speaker is also vacant, by such member of the Assembly as the Governor may appoint for the purpose." There is no explicit use of the term "pro-tem speaker" in the Constitution. A pro-tem speaker is a speaker in parliament or state legislatures appointed temporarily to lead sessions. For the first session of a newly elected legislative assembly in which the speaker has not yet been chosen, a pro-tem speaker is typically preferred.

Next Lok Sabha Speaker?

When speaking about the anti-defection law, a speaker's role becomes extremely important. This law addresses circumstances in which political party members defect to form other parties, potentially rendering them ineligible for office. The Speaker is in charge of considering disqualification petitions when a member switches parties; they have the final say over the matter's timing and resolution.

As "insurance," political veterans Nitish Kumar and Chandrababu Naidu wish to be Speakers. Numerous instances of mutiny within ruling parties have occurred recently, causing rifts and even the overthrow of governments. The Speaker of the House has great authority under these circumstances because of the anti-defection law. In fact, Nitish Kumar has previously charged that the BJP is attempting to split his party. The Speaker's position serves as a check on any potential mutiny because the kingmakers do not want to wake up to one.

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