New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Virendra Kumar is set to become the pro tem speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha, news agency ANI reported. Virendra Kumar a seven-term MP from Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh, was minister of state in the ministry of women and child development (headed by Maneka) and MoS in the minority affairs ministry in the previous Narendra Modi government.
The prominent Dalit face of the saffron party was not made a minister this time.
The name of the pro tem speaker was finalised by the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry . He will be administered the oath by President Ram Nath Kovind.
The main duty of the pro tem Speaker is to administer the oath of office to new members of the Lok Sabha. A temporary post, the pro tem Speaker presides over the first meeting of lower House of Parliament after the General election besides presiding over the sitting in which the Speaker and Deputy Speaker is elected if it is a newly constituted House.
Earlier it was reported that senior BJP leader and eight-time MP Maneka Gandhi might be appointed as the pro tem speaker as she was not administered the oath of office in the swearing-in of the new government at Rashtrapati Bhavan on May 30. Gandhi, 62, a veteran BJP leader, had won from the Sultanpur seat in Uttar Pradesh.
Besides, Maneka Gandhi, SS Ahluwalia, a six-time Member of Parliament and former Union minister, was also seen as a strong contender for the post. A four-term Rajya Sabha member, Ahluwalia won the Lok Sabha polls from Burdwan-Durgapur Lok Sabha seat in West Bengal. In 2014, he had won from Darjeeling.