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Ex-CM Raman Singh files nomination for Chhattisgarh Assembly Speaker's post

Raipur: Senior BJP MLA and former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Sunday filed his nomination for the post of Speaker of the newly-elected state legislative assembly, officials said.

Earlier in the day, senior BJP MLA Ramvichar Netam was sworn in as the pro-tem speaker by the governor ahead of the first session of the sixth assembly of Chhattisgarh scheduled to start from December 19.

Pro-tem speaker is a temporary speaker appointed for a limited period of time to conduct the business of the House in the absence of a regular speaker.

Raman Singh, the 71-year-old legislator from Rajnandgaon seat, filed the nomination papers for the speaker’s post in the assembly building premises, an assembly official said.

Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai, Deputy CMs Arun Sao and Vijay Sharma, Congress legislature party leader Charan Das Mahant, who was speaker in the outgoing Chhattisgarh assembly, and former CM Bhupesh Baghel were present on the occasion.

Senior leaders from both the ruling and opposition sides submitted proposals supporting Singh’s nomination, the official said.

After filing the nomination, Singh told reporters that his new responsibility will be to take everyone together in the Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha.

He thanked Congress leaders Mahant and Baghel for supporting his nomination.

CM Sai and other senior leaders of the BJP have also unanimously passed a proposal (supporting his nomination), Singh said expressing gratitude to all members of the newly-elected assembly.

“I will be in a new role. My new responsibility will be to take everyone together in the Vidhan Sabha. My responsibility will be to strike a balance between the ruling and opposition camps. I will discharge my new responsibility and try to take the state Vidhan Sabha to new heights,” Singh said.

Talking to reporters, Bhupesh Baghel said Raman Singh will be elected unopposed as the speaker of the state assembly and congratulated him.

Baghel also congratulated Mahant, who was on Saturday elected as the Congress legislature party leader in Chhattisgarh.

The Congress, which ruled Chhattisgarh for last five years, suffered a defeat in the recently held state assembly elections, which saw the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) making a stunning comeback to power by bagging 54 of the 90 seats.

The Congress, which won 68 seats in the state 2018, was reduced to 35 seats this time, while Gondwana Gantantra Party (GGP) managed to win one seat.

Raman Singh, a seven-term MLA, won from Rajnandgaon seat for four consecutive terms – in 2008, 2013, 2018 and 2023.

He was also elected as the Lok Sabha member in 1999 and appointed Union minister of state for commerce and industries in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

In the recently concluded state assembly elections, Singh defeated Congress’ Girish Dewangan by a margin of 45,084 votes.

Though the BJP suffered a massive defeat in 2018 state polls under his leadership, Singh has earned the reputation of being an able administrator during his 15-year-long stint (2003 to 2018) as the CM of the state.

(Published 17 December 2023, 12:41 IST)

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