SP to field NS Verma for Dy Speaker post

| | Lucknow
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SP to field NS Verma for Dy Speaker post

Sunday, 17 October 2021 | PNS | Lucknow

The opposition Samajwadi Party has announced to field Narendra Singh Verma as its candidate for the election to the post of deputy speaker of UP assembly.

Verma is the six-term MLA from Sitapur district.

The tenure of the current 17th UP Vidhan Sabha ends on March 14, 2022 and there is hardly three months’ time for the assembly polls.

A UP assembly special session has been convened for election of the deputy speaker on October 18. The nomination for the deputy speaker post will be accepted by the returning officer on October 17 between 11 am 1 am, UP assembly officials said here on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav has directed all the party MLAs to be present at the state party office at 2 pm on Sunday.

Verma, a six-time MLA from Mahmoodabad assembly constituency in Sitapur district, is presently deputy leader of the party in the House. Though SP has just 49 members in the assembly, highest among the opposition, but it would get support of the rebel BSP members. However, the SP contesting the election will be only for the sake of contesting the elections as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has an overwhelming majority in the House with over 310 MLAs.

The Samajwadi Party mocked the BJP-led government for holding the election for deputy speaker after four-and-a-half years of its rule. This will be the first such election in 14 years. BJP’s alliance partner Apna Dal has pitched in for an OBC or Dalit face for the deputy speaker’s post. The BJP is likely to field Nitin Agarwal, a defector from the Samajwadi Party. The petition for his disqualification from the membership of the House was recently rejected by UP Assembly Speaker Hriday Narayan Dikshit.

“What is the urgency? If it was felt that a deputy speaker was required for a better functioning of the House then why was it not done earlier. What is the need now after four-and-a-half years as there would be just about two months left,” asked leader of opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary, adding that if the ruling party was recommending some name, opposition leaders had not been consulted so far.

Ram Govind Chaudhary said that the one-day assembly session on October 18 was a “BJP tactic” to divert people’s attention from the “real issues”.

Bahujan Samaj Party Legislature Party leader Shah Alam alias Guddu Jamali said the party was yet to decide its response. “But even then, we find it difficult to understand the meaning of such an election so close to the assembly polls… As far as we know, as per the tradition of the House, the deputy speaker is elected from opposition and with their consent. No one has contacted us so far,” Chaudhary said.

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