B.K. Arukha elected as new Speaker of Odisha Assembly


Bhubaneswar, June 13 : Bikram Keshari Arukha, a six-time and former minister, was elected as new Speaker of the Odisha legislative Assembly on Monday. Arukha was elected to the post unopposed in a special session of the House chaired by deputy Speaker Rajani Kant Singh. Members from opposition BJP and Congress too supported his candidature for the prestigious post. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik proposed his name before the House for the post, which was supported by parliamentary affairs minister Niranjan Pujari. Arukha was elected unanimously as new Speaker on a voice of votes. After Arukha's name was announced as new Speaker of the Assembly by Singh, he was escorted to the Speaker's podium by the Chief Minister, opposition chief whip (BJP) Mohan Charan Majhi and Congress legislature party leader Narasingha Mishra. Congratulating Arukha, Patnaik appealed to all members to extend their wholehearted support to him to discharge his duties. Stating chair of the Speaker is supposed to be impartial, Majhi said: "On behalf of members of my party, I congratulate you and we hope that you will give us all equal opportunity in participating and putting forth our views on the floor of the House on the basis of your long-standing Parliamentary experience gathered since 1995." Similarly, Mishra said Arukha is having a vast experience and successfully discharged duties on various positions, including the parliamentary affairs minister, when he was looking after floor management. "The opposition party has not filed nomination for the election and supported the CM. However, if the opposition parties would be taken into confidence before proposing a name for the Speaker post, it will create a healthy tradition in the democracy," he suggested. The 60-year-old Arukha was elected six times from Bhanjanagar Assembly constituency in Ganjam district in a row since 1995. He has served as government chief whip and a minister during different tenures of the Naveen Patnaik government. The post of the Speaker was lying vacant after Surya Narayan Patro resigned from the post on June 4 due to his health problems. /IANS


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