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Sumitra Mahajan likely to be Speaker

Thursday, 5 June 2014 - 6:30am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

Sumitra Mahajan, an eight-time Lok Sabha MP, appears set to be the next Lok Sabha Speaker. The Speaker's election is likely to take place on Friday afternoon after completion of oath-taking in the House, sources said.

AIADMK leader M Thambidurai's name has been doing the rounds for the deputy speaker's post, although a decision is yet to be taken on the matter. Sources said the government is of the view that the deputy speaker's post, which was held by BJP's Karia Munda during the UPA regime, should be given to the Opposition.

After the Congress, the AIADMK is the largest opposition party in the House. Unlike in the Lok Sabha, where it has a full majority, the BJP falls short of numbers in the Upper House. This is why the support of other parties will be crucial to its plan to pass Bills in the Rajya Sabha.

The oath-taking by 543 MPs will continue till late on Thursday and the process may be completed by Friday afternoon.

The decision on the Leader of Opposition will be left to the discretion of the Speaker, sources said, adding that past precedents in a situation when no opposition party qualifies for it would be kept in mind. A party requires 10 per cent (55 seats) of the total strength of the House for the status of Leader of Opposition. The Congress, which has chosen Mallikarjun Kharge as its leader in the House, has only 44 members.

On June 9, the President will address a joint session of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

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