Birla elected Speaker, PM Modi escorts him to chair

The story of how Om Birla, the new Lok Sabha Speaker, drew close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah while also being liked in the rank and file of the RSS

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Birla

New Delhi: BJP MP Om Birla was on Wednesday elected unopposed as the Speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha. Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed his name after the proceedings began.

Many parties including the Congress, Trinamool, DMK and BJD supported the candidature of Birla. Sirf News had reported on Tuesday that even the Congress was not opposed to Birla becoming the Speaker.

After Birla’s election, Modi himself escorted him to the chair. The prime minister praised him, saying he was afraid some MPs could take undue advantage of Birlaís humility and a clear conscience.

The MP from Kota-Bundi, Rajasthan, had filed his nomination on Tuesday.

Modi said It is a matter of pride to see Om Birla occupy the chair. The older Members (of Parliament) know you well. People are also familiar with the role you played in Rajasthan. The place where he comes from, Kota, is now the Kashi of education. Kota has become a type of small India.

We maintain an image before the people that we do politics all the 24 hours, squabbling all the time. But the era of hardcore politics is gone, the prime minister said.

“Birlaji ís entire work style is centred around social service. When an earthquake occurred in Gujjar, he stayed there for a long time with his local colleagues. When Kedarnath was flooded, along with his group, he was involved in social work,” Modi said.

“Birlaji runs the Prasadam Yojana in which the poor are fed food. In a way, he made public service rather than a mass movement his centre point. He will discipline us. I believe he will be able to do things the best in the House,” the prime minister said.

Turning towards the other MPs, Modi appealed, Do not abuse his humility and discretion. When you recall the last term, Sumitraji will always be remembered for her smile and affection.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary greeted Birla in the Lok Sabha. He dealt with the issues of slogans of Jai Sri Ram, Vandemataram, Allah u Akbar, etc, heard during the oath ceremony, saying, When Mullah sees Ram in a mosque, when the priest sees Rahman in the temple, when a human being sees a human being in another human being, the world will change.

Birla, like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, is considered a favourite of the Sangh. Modi and Shah have been accessible to him. In the scheme of things of the RSS, Birla has a stature like Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and BJP in charge of Gujarat and Bihar, Bhupendra Yadav.

Birla drew close to Shah when the latter was declared a persona non grata in Gujarat under the UPA rule. After this, Shah stayed in Delhi for a long time. Om Birla was given a place in many committees in the 2014 Lok Sabha. He was made a member of the estimate committee, petition committee, energy-related standing committee and advisory committee.

This time the number of ministers at the Centre from Rajasthan is low. Last time, six MPs from Rajasthan were made ministers, but this time there are only three. The State has given the BJP 25 out of 25 seats for a second consecutive time. For this reason, the MP has been nominated as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Preparation was going on for 10 days

Birla had known about 10 days earlier that his name was being finalised for the post of the Lok Sabha Speaker. But he did not let the information out. Even among his family members and staff, only a few were privy to the information, with the strict instruction that they would not divulge it anywhere.

Parliamentary secretary in Rajasthan government till 2004-08

Om Birla was born on 4 December 1962 in Kota, Rajasthan. He started his political career at the level of student union elections. Birla has been a member of the Rajasthan Assembly in the years 2003, 2008 and 2013.

From 2004 to 2008, Birla was the parliamentary secretary in Rajasthan government. He was the national vice-president of Akhil Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) for six years and then he became the president of Rajasthan State BJYM.

This time, in the Lok Sabha election, he defeated Ram Narayan Meena of the Congress by 2,79,677 votes. He got a total of 8,00,051 votes. He had been elected MP from Kota in 2014 as well.

Budget will be presented on 5 July

On 20 June, the President will address a joint sitting of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha members. The session of the Rajya Sabha will be inaugurated on this day. This session of Parliament will last till 26 July.

4 July: Economic Survey will be presented by the Ministry of Finance.

5 July: For the first time, a woman finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Budget.