What is the procedure for the appointment of the Speaker of Lok Sabha of India?

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Soon after the Lok Sabha election is over, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker are elected by the members of the House by majority vote. Normally, the post of the Speaker goes to the ruling party. Difficulty arises if the ruling party has no absolute majority in the Lok Sabha or if there is a coalition government at the centre.

The first Speaker of the Lok Sabha was G.V. Mavalankar. After the Lok Sabha election held in 1991, there was tussle between the Congress party and the Janata Dal regarding the post of Speaker. The Congress party argued that as the ruling party, it was its prerogative to get one of its members in the Lok Sabha elected as the Speaker.

On the other hand, it was argued by the Janata Dal that as the ruling party did not have absolute majority in the Lok Sabha, the post of Speaker should come to the opposition. When no agreement could be reached between the two parties, the post of Speaker was contested. Before the contest, the Congress entered into an understanding with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha.

According to this understanding, the post of Speaker was allotted to the Congress while the post of Deputy Speaker was given to the BJP. On 12 July 1991, Sivraj Patil, the Congress candidate, was elected unopposed as the Speaker and Mallikarjunah, the BJP candidate, was later elected as the Deputy Speaker.

There was also some uncertainty about the post of Speaker after the 11th Lok Sabha election. However, P.A. Sangma of Congress was unanimously elected as the Speaker. Later, Surajbhan of Bharatiya Janata Party was elected as the Deputy Speaker. G.M.C. Balyogi of Telugu Desam Party was the speaker of both 12th and 13th Lok Sabha and after his death Manohar Joshi of Shivsena was the Speaker and P.M. Syed of Congress Party was the Deputy Speaker.

In the 14th Lok Sabha Sri Somanath Chatterjee of CPM was the Speaker of Lok Sabha, and Charanjit Singh Atwal (Akali) was the Deputy Speaker. In the 15th Lok Sabha, Mrs. Meira Kumar of Congress is the Speaker and Mr. Karia Munda of BJP is the Deputy Speaker. Mrs. Meira Kumar is the first woman Lok Sabha Speaker of India.

The Speaker prepares a panel of not more than six members of the Lok Sabha. The members of this panel preside over the Lok Sabha meetings in the absence of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker. If the offices of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker are vacant, then the President appoints a member of the Lok Sabha to act as the Speaker.

Term of Office and Removal of Speaker of Lok Sabaha:

The Speaker holds his office normally during the life of the House. But before the term of the House expires, he may cease to be its member by resigning or by being removed from the office. The dissolution of Lok Sabha is not accompanied by the vacation of his office by the Speaker. He remains in office until the new House meets and a new Speaker is elected.

If a motion of no-confidence is brought against the Speaker in the Lok Sabha, he is to be served with a notice of at least 14 days. When the House considers such a resolution, the Speaker will not preside over the meeting of the House. But he will have the right to be present in the House and speak in his defense.

Salary and Allowance:

The salary of the Lok Sabha Speaker is equal to that of the Cabinet Minister. Besides this; he is entitled to draw other allowances such as constituency allowance and travel allowance.


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