Even as the ruling BJP has made up its mind to get Nitin Agarwal elected as the deputy speaker of the Legislative Assembly, its alliance partner Apna Dal (S), has thrown a spanner in the works by demanding that a Dalit or an OBC MLA be elected to the post.
The election of the deputy speaker of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly is due on October 18.
Apna Dal national working president and MLC Ashish Patel said that at present there is nobody belonging to OBC and Dalit communities on the post of speaker of the UP Legislative Assembly and chairman of Legislative Council.
“In such a situation, the MLA of OBC or SC community should be made the deputy speaker of the state Assembly. This will send out a good message to the backward and downtrodden,” he said.
Ashish Patel, the husband of Union Minister Anupriya Patel, said that the people from the backward and the Dalit community had played a key role in bringing the BJP-led NDA government to power at the Centre in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections as well as in 2017 UP Assembly elections.
Party’s national spokesperson Rajesh Patel said that the BJP state leadership should consider Apna Dal’s demand seriously.
“We have raised our demand to the government on the issue. The government has numbers and will take a call on the issue,” said Patel.
Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party is unhappy with the BJP government’s move to field Nitin Agarwal, a rebel SP MLA, and is considering fielding party MLA Narendra Verma for the post.
A Samajwadi Party MLA, Nitin Agarwal along with his father former MP Naresh Agarwal had joined the BJP in 2018. The Samajwadi Party’s petition seeking Nitin Agarwal’s disqualification was recently rejected.
A divided opposition has also not worked out any joint strategy to counter the BJP’s decision for election to the post. The Samajwadi Party apparently is not happy with the BJP government’s move and may consider fielding party MLA Narendra Verma for the post.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the business advisory committee has been convened on October 17 (Sunday) to decide the state assembly’s agenda. State assembly speaker Hriday Narayan Dikshit has already fixed October 18 (Monday) as the date of the election of the deputy speaker’s post.
The nomination papers may be deposited in the office of principal secretary, state assembly, Pradeep Dubey on October 17.
(With IANS inputs)