The two-time MLA from Lanji seat of Naxal affected Balaghat district, Hina Kawre, was elected as the deputy speaker of the 15th Vidhan Sabha in Bhopal with a voice vote, amidst the raging opposition from BJP MLAs protesting in the Well of the House.
The BJP leaders continued their protest calling the election of deputy speaker as ‘undemocratic’ and ‘unconstitutional’. The Speaker of the house did not allow voting for the deputy speaker’s post as BJP had proposed the name of ex-minister and Malhargarh (Mandsaur) MLA Jagdish Devda for the post.
Kawre’s election to deputy speaker’s post is the first time in three decades that the long followed tradition of the post going to the principal opposition has been shunned. The decision to elect Kawre came a day before the 5-day inaugural session of the State Assembly was scheduled to end. The leader of opposition Gopal Bhargava stated that his party will move to court on the undemocratic and unconstitutional election of the speaker and deputy speaker in the Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha.
Amidst the uproar in the assembly, speaker Narmada Prajapati took up the first resolution and declared Kawre elected through a voice vote and followed with an indefinite adjournment of the House. The leader of the opposition, Gopal Bhargava and former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan claimed that their ministers would solicit a meeting with the President to lodge a protest against what they described as the “undemocratic and unconstitutional” election of the speaker and deputy speaker.
Ever since the Congress has formed a government in Madhya Pradesh, there has been a flurry of contentious decisions from the cabinet. CM Kamal Nath had first cancelled the singing of Vande Mataram on the first of every month by government employees. However, sensing tremendous pressure, he had to restore the tradition back. He had also put a stay on pensions granted to prisoners detained during the Emergency.