New Delhi, June 11: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Virendra Kumar has been appointed the Pro Tem Speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha. The post is awarded to the lawmaker with the highest legislative experience cutting across party lines. In case there are more than 1 lawmaker with the same amount of parliamentary terms, the decision is taken by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
Kumar, a veteran BJP leader from Madhya Pradesh, has represented the Tikamgarh constituency for four terms and the Sagar seat three times. In all, he is a seven-time lawmaker in the Lok Sabha. List of First-Time Ministers in Narendra Modi Cabinet 2.0: Amit Shah, S Jaishankar & Others
Update by ANI:
BJP MP Dr Virendra Kumar to be the Protem Speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha. pic.twitter.com/kjKZpkOPkD
— ANI (@ANI) June 11, 2019
Speculations were earlier rife that the post would be awarded to senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Maneka Gandhi. The speculations were boosted after she was not included in the new Cabinet of PM Narendra Modi.
A possibility, however, remains that Gandhi could be appointed as the Lok Sabha Speaker while Kumar would only serve as the Pro Tem Speaker. The latter is tasked to administer the oath of Office to the newly elected MPs. In the 16th Lok Sabha, the charge was entrusted to 9-time MP Congress MP from Chhindwara, Kamal Nath
Meanwhile, the results for electing the Speaker of 17th Lok Sabha will be held on June 19. If there would be more than 2 candidates in fray, then all parliamentarians would be asked to vote and the new Speaker would be elected by a plain majority.