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Former CM Raman Singh elected speaker of Chhattisgarh assembly

Raipur: Senior BJP MLA and former Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh was on Tuesday unanimously elected as the speaker of the state legislative assembly.

The first session of the newly-elected assembly began here on Tuesday.

The 71-year-old Singh filed his nomination for the speaker’s post on Sunday and said his new responsibility will be to take everyone together in the Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha.

The Congress, which ruled Chhattisgarh for last five years, suffered a shock defeat in the assembly polls held last month at the hands of the BJP which bagged 54 out of 90 seats, restricting the grand old party to 35 seats. The Gondwana Gantantra Party (GGP) won one segment.

As the assembly session commenced on Tuesday, pro-tem speaker Ramvichar Netam administered the oath to BJP and Congress legislators and one MLA from the GGP as members of the legislative assembly.

Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai, Leader of opposition Charan Das Mahant, Deputy Chief Ministers Arun Sao and Vijay Sharma, former CMs Raman Singh and Bhupesh Baghel were among the legislators who were administered oath by the pro-tem speaker.

After the swearing-in of legislators, CM Sai moved a proposal for the election of Singh as the speaker which was seconded by Deputy CM Sao.

LoP Mahant also moved a proposal for the election of Singh as the speaker which was seconded by senior Congress leader and former CM Bhupesh Baghel.

Three more proposals were moved by BJP members in favour of Singh, the seven-term MLA who has won Rajnandgaon seat for four consecutive times – in 2008, 2013, 2018 and 2023.

Singh was elected as the Lok Sabha member once in 1999 and appointed as the 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.

Singh, credited for transforming Chhattisgarh from a ‘backward’ state to a model of development, has earned the reputation of being an able administrator during his 15-year-long stint (2003 to 2018) as the state’s chief minister.

(Published 19 December 2023, 10:31 IST)

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