Aaditya Thackeray’s cautionary note: BJP allies must secure Speaker’s role

The minute they form the government with you, they will try to break your parties too, Worli MLA warns JD(U), TDP

Shiv Sena (UBT) MLA from Worli, Aaditya Thackeray (file photo)
Shiv Sena (UBT) MLA from Worli, Aaditya Thackeray (file photo)

NH Digital

In a pointed advisory amid the power-sharing talks within the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) as it attempts to form a new government at the Centre, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader and MLA Aaditya Thackeray urged BJP’s potential allies to secure the Lok Sabha Speaker’s post, cautioning them about the BJP’s history of breaking promises and destabilising allies once in power.

In a post on X, Thackeray offered a strategic suggestion to potential allies of the BJP, urging them to secure the post of Lok Sabha Speaker, pointing to the critical nature of this position in the dynamics of power-sharing and party stability.

Reflecting on past experiences with the BJP, Thackeray warned that once in power, the BJP tends to renegotiate promises and attempt to fracture allied parties. “Having experienced the tactics of the BJP, the minute they form the government with you, they will break the promises and try to break your parties too. You'll have experienced it earlier,” Thackeray tweeted.

As the BJP-led NDA deliberates the power-sharing framework ahead of forming the government, its allies have articulated their demands. Notably, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has requested the Lok Sabha Speaker's post and three Cabinet ministerial positions. The Janata Dal (United) has similarly demanded three Cabinet posts and one minister of state (MoS) position from the BJP. However, the primary focus remains on the Speaker’s role.

Traditionally held by the ruling BJP, the Speaker's post is pivotal. TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu has reportedly conveyed his demand for this role, recognising its strategic importance, especially in the context of a tight no-confidence motion on the House floor.

TDP sources indicate that Naidu is acutely aware of the Speaker's influence, a perspective rooted in historical precedent. In 1998, Naidu supported Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s NDA government without seeking cabinet positions, opting instead for the Speaker's post and nominating G.M.C. Balayogi.

The Lok Sabha Speaker serves as the head and principal spokesperson of the House, tasked with maintaining order and decorum during proceedings. Crucially, even if the government falls, the Speaker retains their position until the House is dissolved.

This aspect makes the Speaker's role a significant strategic asset. Should the TDP secure the Speaker's post and later align with the Congress, the Speaker would remain in office. Removing the Speaker requires a resolution passed by an effective majority, meaning more than 50 per cent of the House's total strength.

As the NDA navigates these power-sharing negotiations, Thackeray’s insights underscore the intricate balance of power and the critical roles within the parliamentary framework. The strategic positioning around the Speaker's post highlights its enduring importance in Indian political manoeuvres.

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