56-year-old OM Birla is a BJP MP from Rajasthan's Kota-Bundi constituency. (ANI Photo)
Ten parties, including Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSRCP and Naveen Patnaik’s BJD have landed their support to NDA candidate OM Birla for the post of Lok Sabha Speaker, reported ANI news agency. Birla, the 56-year-old BJP MP from Rajasthan’s Kota filed his nomination which was proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.
Confirming the development, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi said that the proposal was also signed by 10 parties, including the YSRCP and the BJP.“BJD, Shiv Sena, National People’s Party, Mizo National Front, Akali Dal, Lok Janshakti Party, YSRCP, JDU, AIADMK, & Apna Dal have signed the proposal,” Joshi was quoted as saying by the agency.
Although the Congress party didn’t sign the proposal, the Union Minister said that the party was unlikely to oppose Birla’s candidature for the post of Lok Sabha speaker. “We have talked to Congress, they haven't signed the proposal yet but they won't oppose it, I've met Ghulam Nabi Azad,” he added.
If elected, Birla will replace previous Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. The Speaker of 16th Lok Sabha, Mahajan didn’t contest this year’s General Elections. the development comes a day after the Pro-tem Speaker Virender Gupta administered oath of office to over 300 MPs during the inaugural session of the 17th Lok Sabha.
Currently, Birla is the member of Parliamentary Committees on Petitions and Energy. He was a three-time Member of Rajasthan Legislative Assembly from Kota South. The 56-year-old has completed his education from two colleges in Kota and Ajmer in Rajasthan.
According to a government website, Birla also served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Government of Rajasthan from 2003 to 2008. Birla is known for his extensive work in social sector.
He has led several voluntary missions during national calamities such as floods and earthquakes. In 2001, Birla led the relief team of more than 100 voluntary workers including doctors to help the victims of Gujarat earthquake.
Birla has been a member of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh. The official website says that Birla was also imprisoned in Uttar Pradesh ‘due to active participation in Ram Mandir construction movement.’ He has also been credited for leading a movement that helped Kota city getting the IIT.