LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party MLA Nitin Agarwal filed his nomination on Sunday, October 17, 2021, for the Deputy Speaker’s post in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, with the ruling BJP indicating that it will support him.
The only other candidate in Monday’s deputy speaker election is Narendra Verma, who called himself the official nominee of the opposition SP.
After the polling, Uttar Pradesh will get its first Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly after a gap of over 14 years, a development taking place ahead of the 2022 assembly polls.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh were present at the time of filing of nomination by Nitin Agarwal.
Nitin Agarwal wore a blue-coloured ‘patka’ bearing ‘Jai Shri Ram’ at the time of his nomination.
His father and former UP minister Naresh Agarwal was also present.
“I have submitted four sets of nomination papers. Those who have proposed my name are Congress MLA from Harchandpur Rakesh Pratap Singh, BSP MLA from Purva Anil Singh, Cabinet ministers Suresh Khanna, Swami Prasad Maurya and Ashutosh Tandon, minister Chhatrapal Singh, and MLA Rajpal Verma,” Nitin Agarwal told PTI.
After filing the nomination papers, the MLA told PTI that he is yet to formally join the BJP.
On the other hand, SP nominee Narendra Verma accused the BJP of “twisting” the parliamentary traditions and said the post should go to the opposition.
“I am the SP candidate and the post of deputy speaker as per traditions goes to the principal opposition party. Hence, it should go to us. He (Nitin) is my younger brother. He won on a Samajwadi Party ticket and after winning the polls, he started working against the SP. Tradition wise, this post should go to the opposition, but the BJP is breaking and twisting the parliamentary traditions. We do not expect anything from the ruling party,” he said.
Verma was accompanied by Leader of Opposition in UP Assembly Ram Gobind Chaudhary and rebel BSP MLAs.
The two candidates filed their nomination papers at the UP Vidhan Bhavan on Sunday.
As per traditions, an MLA of the principal opposition party is made the Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.
The last Deputy Speaker of UP Legislative Assembly was the BJP’s Rajesh Agarwal, who was elected unopposed in 2004.
A three-time SP MLA from Hardoi, Nitin Agarwal said if elected as the deputy speaker of the assembly, he will discharge his duties as per provisions of the Constitution.
“The government’s priority is that everything should be transparent. My priority as a deputy speaker will be to ensure the same,” he said.
Principal Secretary of UP Vidhan Sabha Pradeep Dubey said voting will take place on Monday.
The BJP’s ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) has 9 MLAs, while the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party has 4 MLAs.
There are three independent MLAs, while there are two unattached MLAs.
The Rashtriya Lok Dal and the Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Apna Dal have one MLA each.