New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the election of the senior lawmaker and BJP leader Om Birla as the new Lok Sabha Speaker was “a matter of great pride.”
“It is a matter of great pride for the House and we all congratulate Om Birla on being unanimously elected as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. Many MPs know Birla ji well. He has served in the state of Rajasthan as well,” said Prime Minister Modi, while congratulating Birla in the House for his election to the coveted chair.
Modi, who proposed Birla’s nomination for the post, personally escorted him to the Speaker’s Chair and congratulated him.
Praising Birla’s work, Modi said: “The work that you have done, the manner in which you have dedicated your life for the benefit of the nation in all your years as a legislator and a parliamentarian, is commendable.”
“Your contribution to Rajasthan has been immense. The small town of Kota has greatly benefitted from your tireless service,” said Prime Minister Modi.
The unopposed election of Birla, a two-time BJP MP from Kota in Rajasthan, was a smooth affair. It, however, broke the record of women holding the post for the past 10 years.
In 2009, Meira Kumar became the first woman to be elected to the post of Speaker during the UPA-II, while the NDA followed the suit by nominating Sumitra Mahajan in 2014.
The 56-year-old Birla was also a member of Rajasthan Assembly for three terms and was also a parliamentary secretary in Vasundhara Raje’s government between 2003 and 08.
YSRCP and TDP also supported Birla’s candidature along with other opposition parties.
An agriculturist and social worker, the low-profile leader has been active in politics from his student days and served as the state unit president of the Bharatiya Yuva Morcha (BJYM) in 1991 and it is vice president at the national level.
Birla was elected to the 17th Lok Sabha from Kota where he defeated Congress’ Ramnarain Meena by over 2.5 lakh votes, from where he was first elected in 2014 polls.