LUCKNOW, March 29 (PTI): Eight-time BJP MLA Satish Mahana on Tuesday became the Speaker of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly, with chief minister Yogi Adityanath and leader of Opposition Akhilesh Yadav hailing his unanimous election.
With Mahana being the only candidate for the post, he was declared elected without any contest as the Speaker of the 18th UP Assembly.
Speaking in the Assembly after escorting Mahana to the Speaker’s chair, Adityanath said it’s a good sign for the state that two “wheels of democracy” (ruling and Opposition) moved in one direction.
He appealed to both the ruling and the Opposition members that now the elections are over and it’s their duty to work for the progress of UP to fulfil wishes of people.
In a lighter vein, he said referring to the Speaker’s name, “The scriptures say one should avail opportunity to become great (‘mahan’). The word ‘mahan’ is in your name itself.”
Speaking next, Yadav hailed the “beginning of a healthy tradition” in the House by electing the Speaker unanimously.
He urged Mahana to act with neutrality as a Speaker and protect the rights of the Opposition.
“Though you come from right (BJP) but now you will see more towards Left (Opposition). Being a referee of the House, you must not become a part of their game,” Akhilesh said.
“It will be your duty to safeguard the rights of the Opposition and prevent the government from becoming dictatorial,” Yadav said.
Speaking in the House after his election, Mahana thanked both Adityanath and Yadav for showing faith in him.
Referring to Yadav’s comment, Mahana jokingly said, “I will do left- right (march), which is good for health too.”
Seeking the support of all in the smooth conduct of the House proceedings, he said, “All have the responsibility to save democracy, including the treasury as well as Opposition benches.”
He said the use of wrong language and unruly behaviour in the House have an adverse impact on people.
Mahana was elected for the eighth time from the Maharajpur assembly seat of Kanpur district in the February-March polls.
Born on October 14, 1960 in Kanpur, he was elected a member of the Legislative Assembly for the first time in 1991.
Apart from being the minister of State for Urban Development in the Mayawati-led government of the BSP-BJP alliance, he has also been a minister in the governments led by Kalyan Singh, Ram Prakash Gupta and Rajnath Singh.
He was the industrial development minister in the previous Adityanath government.
Smooth running of the House will be a tough challenge for the new Speaker given the fact that both Adityanath and Yadav would not miss any chance to corner each other in view of the 2024 General Election.
Unlike last time, the Opposition has a good number of legislators in the Assembly under the leadership of the SP supremo.
During his address, Adityanath praised the Assembly functioning during the coronavirus pandemic, which he said drew keen interest from across the country.
Yadav in his speech contested Adityanath’s claim, saying there was maximum withdrawal from saving bank accounts of people during the pandemic in Kanpur, the area from where Mahana comes.
In the seven-phase elections to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, the BJP-led alliance had bagged 273 seats.
The SP-led alliance bagged 125 seats.
The Congress and the Jansatta Dal Loktantrik got two seats each while the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party secured one seat.