Nimaben Acharva became first woman Speaker of Gujarat Assembly
- Veteran legislator Nimaben Acharva was on Monday unanimously elected the first woman Speaker of the Gujarat Assembly, which met for the two-day monsoon session.
How are speakers and deputy speakers elected?
- Article 93 for Lok Sabha and Article 178 for state Assemblies state that these Houses “shall, as soon as may be”, choose two of its members to be Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
- In Lok Sabha and state legislatures, the President/Governor sets a date for the election of the Speaker, and it is the Speaker who decides the date for the election of the Deputy Speaker.
- The legislators of the respective Houses vote to elect one among themselves to these offices.
Their roles and functions:
- The Speaker is “the principal spokesman of the House, he represents its collective voice and is its sole representative to the outside world”.
- The Speaker presides over the House proceedings and joint sittings of the two Houses of Parliament.
- It is the Speaker’s decision that determines whether a Bill is a Money Bill and therefore outside of the purview of the other House.
- Usually, the Speaker comes from the ruling party. In the case of the Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha, the position has varied over the years.
- The constitution has tried to ensure the independence of Speaker by charging his salary on the consolidated Fund of India and the same is not subject to vote of Parliament.
- While debating or during general discussion on a bill, the members of the parliament have to address only to the Speaker.
- States which have specified time-frame for holding the election:
- The Constitution neither sets a time limit nor specifies the process for these elections. It leaves it to the legislatures to decide how to hold these elections.
- For example, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh specify a time-frame.
- The election of the Speaker has to take place as soon as possible after the election. And then the Deputy Speaker is to be elected within seven more days.
- The rules also specify that if a vacancy in these offices happens subsequently, then the election for these should occur within seven days of the legislature’s next session.
In Uttar Pradesh:
- There is a 15-day limit for an election to the Speaker’s post if it falls vacant during the term of the Assembly.
- In the case of the Deputy Speaker, the date for the first election is to be decided by the Speaker, and 30 days is given for filling subsequent vacancies.