Sumitra Mahajan was unanimously elected as Speaker of the 16th Lok Sabha on 6 June 2014. She replaced Meira Kumar and became the second women presiding officer of the Lok Sabha.
Mahajan is a leader of BJP and is a parliamentary leader from Indore constituency and this is her eighth continuous term as Member of Parliament (MP).
She was elected after a motion moved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was adopted by voice vote called by pro tem Speaker Kamal Nath.
About Sumitra Mahajan
• Mahajan was born in Maharashtra in 1943. She is a lawyer by profession
• She was elected to 9th Lok Sabha in 1989 for the first time.
• She was President of the BJP Mahila Morcha in Madhya Pradesh in 1990 and the national general secretary of BJP in 1998.
• She served as Minister of State in the Atal Behari Vajpayee cabinet from 1999 to 2004, holding portfolios of Human Resources, Communications & IT and Petroleum and Natural Gas.
About Lok Sabha Speaker
Lok Sabha Speaker is the presiding officer of the House. The speaker is elected in the very first meeting of the Lok Sabha after the general elections.
Article 93 of the Indian constitution: The house of the people will choose the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of the People among them. If the office of Speaker or Deputy Speaker becomes vacant, the house shall choose another member as Speaker or Deputy Speaker.
Usually, the speaker remains office during the life of the Lok Sabha. But even after the dissolution of Lok Sabha, the speaker does not leave the office till pro tem speaker is appointed.
The Speaker may resign from office by submitting resignation to the Deputy Speaker. The Speaker can be removed from office only on a resolution of the House passed by a majority of all the then members of the House. Such resolution of the House shall be passed by a majority of all the then members of the House. It is also mandatory to give a minimum of 14 days notice to the speaker before moving the resolution.
The speaker is elected usually from the ruling party. The Speaker shall be the member of the Lok Sabha and he is elected by the members of Lok Sabha by a simple majority of members present and voting in the House. The date of election of speaker is fixed by the President.
Role of Speaker
• The Speaker of Lok Sabha conducts the business in the house. The Speaker maintains discipline and decorum in the house and can punish a member for their unruly behaviour by suspending them.
• The speaker has the power to decide whether a bill is a money bill or not.
• The speaker permits the moving of various kinds of motions and resolutions like the motion of no confidence, motion of adjournment, motion of censure and calling attention notice as per the rules.
• The Speaker decides on the agenda to be taken up for discussion during the meeting.
• The speaker shall preside over a joint sitting of the two Houses of the Parliament.
• He acts as the ex-officio chairman of the Indian Parliamentary Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.