New Delhi: NDA candidate Om Birla was unanimously elected as the Speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
Birla’s name was proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was supported by all major Opposition parties, including Congress, TMC, DMK, and BJD.
The YSRCP and TDP also supported Birla’s candidature.
Soon after Birla’s appointment, Prime Minister Modi went up to the Speaker’s chair and congratulated him.
“It is a matter of great pride for the House and we all congratulate Om Birla on being unanimously elected as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. Many MPs know Birla well. He has served in the state of Rajasthan also,” Prime Minister Modi said.
The unopposed election of Birla, a two-time BJP MP from Kota in Rajasthan, was a smooth affair, however, it broke the record of women holding the post for the past 10 years.
In 2009, Meira Kumar became the first woman to be elected to the post during the UPA-2, while the NDA followed suit by nominating Sumitra Mahajan in 2014.
An agriculturist and social worker, the low-profile leader has been active in politics from his student days and served as state unit president of the Bhartiya Yuva Morcha in 1991 and as vice-president at the national level.
Birla was elected to the 17th Lok Sabha from Kota where he defeated Congress’ Ramnarain Meena by over 2.5 lakh votes. He was elected to the last Lok Sabha from the same seat.
Born on 23 November 1962, Om Birla completed his Masters in Commerce from Government Commerce College, Kota and the Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati University, Ajmer.
In 2003, he defeated Shanti Dhariwal, of the Congress by a margin of 10,101 votes, to win his first assembly election from Kota South. Subsequently, he won the Assembly polls in 2008 and 2013.
Birla was the Parliamentary Secretary (MoS rank) in the Vasundhara Raje government from 2003 to 2008.
In the last Lok Sabha, Birla was a member of the Standing Committee on Energy in Parliament and member of Committee on Petitions and Consultative Committee for Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
He has also been in-charge of the organisational revamp of the party in 2018 when the then Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje was drawing flak from the public.
He has also initiated several social welfare programs, including launching in 2012 Paridhan, an initiative which engages in distributing clothes and books for the poor and opened several blood donation camps.