The BJP government may have made up its mind to get Nitin Agarwal elected as the deputy speaker of the legislative assembly, its alliance partner Apna Dal (S), however, appears to have thrown a spanner in the party’s works giving a political twist to the exercise demanding that the deputy speaker should be elected from among the MLAs of Dalit or OBC community in Uttar Pradesh.
“No Dalit or OBC member occupies the post of speaker of legislative assembly or chairman of legislative council in the state. Under such circumstances, a member of Dalit or OBC community should be elected as the deputy speaker. This will be a good message from the government,” said Ashish Patel, an MLC and Apna Dal (S) national working president.
“We have raised our demand to the government on the issue. The government has numbers and will take a call on the issue,” said Patel, who is also the husband of Union minister of state Anupriya Patel.
UP minister for finance and parliamentary affairs Suresh Khanna, while speaking to Hindustan Times here on Wednesday, confirmed that Nitin Agarwal will be his party’s choice for the post of deputy speaker of UP assembly.
A Samajwadi Party MLA, Nitin Agarwal along with his father former MP Naresh Agarwal had joined the BJP in 2018. The Samajwadi Party’s petition seeking Nitin Agarwal’s disqualification was recently rejected.
A divided opposition has also not worked out any joint strategy to counter the BJP’s decision for election to the post. The Samajwadi Party apparently is not happy with the BJP government’s move and may consider fielding party MLA Narendra Verma for the post.
When contacted, Verma said he was not aware of any such move. Samajwadi Party spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said SP national president Akhilesh Yadav would take a call on the issue. BSP legislature party leader Shah Alam alias Guddu Jamali said he would seek directives from BSP chief Mayawati on the issue. Congress Legislative Party leader Aradhna Mishra ‘Mona’ has already said her party would take a call once the assembly’s agenda was finalised.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the business advisory committee has been convened on October 17 (Sunday) to decide the state assembly’s agenda. State assembly speaker Hriday Narayan Dikshit has already fixed October 18 (Monday) as the date of election of deputy speaker’s post. The nomination papers may be deposited in the office of principal secretary, state assembly, Pradeep Dubey on October 17.
Nitin Agarwal, if elected as the deputy speaker in the legislative assembly of Uttar Pradesh, may not have the shortest ever term. The seventeenth assembly was constituted on March 14, 2017 and end of its term would mark end of term of the deputy speaker.
A list of 17 deputy speakers posted on the state assembly’s website shows that deputy speakers have worked for less than four months to less than 10 months in the past. While Waqar Ahmad Shah held the deputy speaker’s post from November 14, 2003 to July 26, 2004 while Ammar Rizvi was in office from September 28, 2001 to January 20, 2002.
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