BJP MP Bhartruhari Mahtab takes oath as pro-tem Speaker of the 18th Lok Sabha

New Delhi: BJP MP Bhartruhari Mahtab was first administered the oath as the Pro-Tem Speaker by President Droupadi Murmu. He will now call upon the Prime Minister to take oath as member of the House. About 280 newly-elected MPs will take oath today, while the remaining parliamentarians, including Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, will take oath tomorrow.

The row over the appointment of seven-time MP Bhartruhari Mahtab as the Pro-Tem Speaker is likely to escalate. The post of Pro Tem Speaker – a temporary one — traditionally goes to the senior most member of parliament.

The Congress – which was expecting Kodikunnil Suresh, a Dalit leader and an eight-time MP from Kerala, to be named Pro-Tem Speaker – has criticisied the BJP over the appointment of Mr Mahtab.

The Lok Sabha Speaker will be elected on June 26. Until a new Speaker is elected, the Pro-Tem Speaker presides over the first few sessions of the Lok Sabha and conducts the election for the new Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

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