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PM calls up Advani; offers Dy Speaker post to Opposition

May 30, 2009 22:51 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday called up senior BJP leader L K Advani and offered the post of deputy Lok Sabha Speaker to the opposition, party sources said.

Dr Singh called Advani in the evening to discuss the issue of electing the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha. He is said to have offered the post of deputy Speaker to BJP.

As per convention, the post of Deputy Speaker is given to the main opposition.

However, in 2004, BJP had passed on the post of Deputy Speaker to its key NDA ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). Charanjit Singh Atwal was given the post at that time.

BJP sources said the Parliamentary board of the party will meet on Sunday to discuss the issue of who should be the Deputy Speaker.

In case BJP decides to keep the post with itself, then senior party leader and MP from Indore Sumitra Mahajan could occupy the post.

However, BJP may also give the post to its National Democratic Alliance ally Janata Dal-United, which has been receiving overtures from Congress-led UPA.

The convention of giving the Deputy Speaker post to the Opposition has been continuing since 1991.

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