Parmar tipped to be Himachal Vidhan Sabha Speaker

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Health and Family Welfare Minister Vipin Parmar is tipped to be Vidhan Sabha Speaker, replacing Rajeev Bindal.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the BJP Legislature meeting, late this evening. It is reliably learnt that Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur was keen to appoint Narinder Thakur, MLA from Hamirpur, as Speaker and had forwarded his name to the high command. Parmar will be filing his nomination papers for the Speaker tomorrow and the election will be held on February 26.

However, the central party leadership was keen that a minister should replace Bindal. Sources said both Education and Law Minister Suresh Bhardwaj and Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Rajeev Saizal, who were being considered for the post, refused to become Speaker. “Even Parmar was reluctant but the high command cleared his name,” said sources.

The election to fill the post of Speaker following resignation of Rajeev Bindal, who has been made the state BJP president, is to take place on February 26. There was reluctance even among senior MLAs to become Speaker as they are keen on being elevated as a minister.

Deputy Speaker Hans Raj today held a meeting with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Bhardwaj and Leader of the Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri to seek cooperation of both sides for the smooth conduct of the budget session. The session will commence from February 25 and conclude on April 1 with a total of 22 sittings. There will be a weeklong recess from March 15 to 22. He urged both sides to ensure proper utilization of time for raising public related issues and uphold the high traditions of the august house.