Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Virendra Kumar will be the protem speaker of the newly elected 17th Lok Sabha, ANI reported. A seven-term MP from Madhya Pradesh's Tikamgarh, Kumar was a Minister of State (MoS) in the Ministry of Women and Child Development (under Maneka Gandhi) and also an MoS in the minority affairs ministry in the first Narendra Modi government.
The name of the pro tem speaker — who will be administered oath by President Ram Nath Kovind — was finalised by the parliamentary affairs ministry.
The main duty of the pro tem speaker is to administer the oath of office to new members of the Lok Sabha. A temporary post, the pro tem Speaker presides over the first meeting of the Lower House of Parliament after the general election besides presiding over the sitting in which the Speaker and Deputy Speaker are elected, in case of a newly constituted House.
Earlier, it was reported that senior BJP leader and eight-time MP Maneka Gandhi might be appointed as the pro tem speaker as she was not administered the oath of office for the new Modi cabinet on 30 May. Besides, Maneka, SS Ahluwalia, a six-time Member of Parliament and former Union minister, was also seen as a strong contender for the post along with other ex-Union ministers such as Radha Mohan Singh and Jual Oram.
However, Kumar, who was formerly the convenor of ABVP in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh from 1977-79, was selected for the job. He was associated with RSS since childhood and served a prison sentence of 16 months under Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) in protest against the imposition of Emergency
He holds a Masters degree in Economics and a PhD in Child Labour. Born 27 February, 1954, Kumar has been a member of the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th Lok Sabha as well. He represented the Sagar constituency between 1996-2009.
Kumar is was also a Chairperson of Standing Committee on Labour and Member of General Purpose Committee.
The first session of the new Lok Sabha is scheduled to begin on 17 June. Election to the post of the speaker will be held on 19 June. A BJP-led NDA nominee is set to be elected for the post as the party has a nearly two-thirds majority in the 543-member house.
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Updated Date: Jun 11, 2019 14:25:55 IST