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Om Birla, BJP’s surprise pick for Speaker

Om Birla, 56, is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s surprise pick for the Lok Sabha speaker’s post, his nomination confirming a generational change within the ruling party.

Birla, a second-term Lok Sabha member from Rajasthan’s Kota, will succeed Sumitra Mahajan, 76, who served as the speaker during her eighth term in Parliament’s lower House before being omitted from the BJP’s slate in the April-May general elections.

Birla is set to be elected unopposed after the Congress also moved a motion to support Birla as speaker. Congress leader Adhir Chowdhury confirmed this to reporters.

Birla’s election was a foregone conclusion given that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance has a clear majority of 353 members in the 543-member Lok Sabha. Election to the post is scheduled for Wednesday.

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