Vijay Kumar Sinha elected speaker of 17th Bihar Legislative Assembly

Vijay Kumar Sinha was elected the speaker of the 17th Bihar Legislative Assembly on Wednesday amid ruckus from opposition parties. Sinha, a former minister and MLA from Lakhisarai assembly constituency, is the first BJP legislature in the state to occupy the speaker post.

Sinha defeated Rashtriya Janata Dal-led Mahagathbandhan’s nominee Awadh Bihari Choudhary by 12 votes. 126 legislators cast their votes in favour of Sinha, while Choudhary secured 114 votes.

Election for the post of speaker in Bihar Legislative Assembly was held for the first time in over 50 years.

According to norm, the Speaker is generally chosen by consensus of all the parties. In the history of the Bihar assembly, voting for the chair of the Speaker has happened only twice – once in March 1967 and the other time in March 1969. Another thing to note about this election is that parties do not usually issue a whip for such polls because they require MLAs to stand up and announce their yes or no against the name of the candidates.

Generally, the speaker is chosen by consensus of the house. In fact, in the history of the Bihar Legislative Assembly, voting for the post of Speaker had happened only twice in the past. The first time voting was held in March 1967. It was again held in March 1969. So this is only the third time that the Speaker of Bihar Legislative Assembly has been elected by voting.

This is also the first time that a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader has become a Speaker of Bihar Legislative Assembly.

The election for the post of speaker was conducted amid a ruckus in the house over the presence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and two other ministers – Ashok Choudhary and Mukesh Sahni – in the house. While Nitish Kumar is a member of Bihar Legislative Council, Ashok Choudhary and Mukesh Sahni are not a member of any house. Opposition parties demanded that the chief minister as well as the other ministers who are not a member of the legislative assembly be removed from the house during the voting for the post of the speaker.

However, Pro-tem Speaker Jitan Ram Manjhi rejected that demands from the opposition parties saying chief minister was present in the capacity of the leader of the House.

Vijay Kumar Sinha is a fifth term MLA. In the previous Nitish Kumar-led NDA government Sinha served as minister for Labour Resource.


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