New Delhi [India], Jun 18 (ANI): With numbers clearly on the ruling combine's side, NDA candidate Om Birla, a two-time BJP member from Kota in Rajasthan, is all set to be the next Lok Sabha speaker and may be elected unopposed in the House on Wednesday.
The BJP nominated 56-year-old Birla, who was also a Member of Assembly in Rajasthan for three terms and was the parliamentary secretary in the government of Vasundhara Raje between 2003-08, as the NDA candiate on Tuesday.
Birla has the support of 10 parties including BJD and YSRCP, which are not part of the NDA. The BJP on its own has 303 MPs and the NDA has 352. BJD has 12 while YSRCP has 22 members in the lower House. In all, the ruling combine has the support of 386 members in the 543-member Lok Sabha.
Nominations have been filed on behalf of Birla by parties which are supporting his candidature, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, who said he has appealed to the Congress also to back his candidature.
While the Congress has not got back to the government, the minister was confident that Birla would be elected unopposed.
An agriculturist and social worker, the low-profile leader has been active in politics from his student days and served as state unit president of the Bhartiya Yuva Morcha in 1991 and as vice-president at the national level.
Birla was elected to the 17th Lok Sabha from Kota where he defeated Congress' Ramnarain Meena by over 2.5 lakh votes. He was elected to the last Lok Sabha also from the same seat.
Born on 23 November 1962, Om Birla completed his Masters in Commerce from Government Commerce College, Kota and the Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati University, Ajmer.
In 2003, he defeated Shanti Dhariwal, of the Congress by a margin of 10,101 votes, to win his first assembly election from Kota South. Subsequently, he won the Assembly polls in 2008 and 2013.
He was the Parliamentary Secretary (MoS rank) in the Vasundhara Raje government from 2003 to 2008. In the last Lok Sabha, Birla was a member of the Standing Committee on Energy in Parliament and member of Committee on Petitions and Consultative Committee for Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
He has also been in charge of the organisational revamp in 2018 when the then Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje was drawing flak from the public.
He has also initiated several social welfare programs, including launching in 2012 Paridhan, an initiative which engages in distributing clothes and books for the poor and opened several blood donation camps.
He has stated medicine banks which supply medicines free of cost and initiated free meal programs for the poor. (ANI)