The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Alam set to be Speaker

Ranchi, Oct. 19: Congress legislator from Pakur Alamgir Alam will take the oath of office and secrecy on Friday after emerging as the consensus candidate for the Speaker’s post today.

Stephen Marandi, who had been eyeing the Chair before being given the post of deputy chief minister, not only chose to stay away when Alam filed his nomination but also left for Dumka in the afternoon.

Marandi is also unlikely to attend the Assembly proceedings on Friday when Alam is expected to be formally declared the new Speaker.

The ruling coalition, however, left no stone unturned to save the government the blushes and deputy chief minister Sudhir Mahto reportedly rushed to Marandi’s place in Doranda to persuade him to play along. But Marandi refused to relent and left for Dumka. He is unlikely to return to the capital and assume office unless the UPA blinks first and stoops to his berth claims.

The consensus candidate would help the Madhu Koda government buy time to set its house in order after murmurs of protest among the coalition ruled the roost ever since its inception.

The NDA, too, failed to seize the initiative and turn the wind in its favour with dissent rumbling in its order as well.

Three BJP legislators have already been served showcause notices to rein in “indiscipline” and coalition partner Janata Dal (United) has also ruffled a few feathers for the NDA top bosses.

Alam today filed 11 nomination papers of which two were proposed by the NDA. One of the papers was proposed by former chief minister Arjun Munda and supported by ex-Speaker Inder Singh Namdhari.

Talking to The Telegraph, Munda said the deputy Speaker’s Chair should be offered to the Opposition in keeping with parliamentary tradition. But as it has not been followed in this case, there’s no point in putting up a fight for the Speaker’s post, he added.

“The Speaker ought to be a consensus candidate because he has to remain fair to all,” Namdhari said.

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