Surama Padhy Set To Become Speaker Of Odisha Assembly; 2nd Woman In Coveted Post

OB Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Ranpur MLA Surama Pandhy on Wednesday filed nomination for Speaker of Odisha Legislative Assembly in the presence of Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi, his deputies – K V Singhdeo and Pravati Parida, and other BJP MLAs.

The elections for the post is slated to be held on June 20 after the oath-taking ceremony of the members of the House. Though Ranendra Pratap Swain, an eight-time BJD MLA from the Athagarh Assembly constituency, is functioning as the Pro-tem speaker, the main opposition has so far not declared any candidate for the post.

The BJP has a clear majority in the House with 78 MLAs and the support of three Independents. The BJD has 51 and the Congress has 14 MLAs and both their numbers will not add up to ensure victory of the Opposition candidate.

The CM has reportedly spoken to BJD president Naveen Patnaik and sought his support. If elected, she will be the second woman after Pramila Mallik to hold the coveted post.

In September 2023, senior BJD leader Pramila created history by becoming the first woman speaker of the Odisha Legislative Assembly. She was elected unopposed.

After three successive defeats, Surama emerged as winning from Ranpur Assembly seat in the recently-concluded elections. She defeated Satyanarayan Pradhan of Biju Janata Dal by a margin of 15,544 votes. The 63-year-old has last won the seat in 2004 when she also served as the Cooperation Minister in the Naveen Patnaik-led BJP-BJP alliance government. She is a native of Ranpur and completed her Master of Arts in 1982 from the erstwhile Ravenshaw College.

Notably, the BJP secured a majority with 78 seats in the Odisha Assembly elections while BJD was down to 51 from 112 in 2019. The Congress won 14 and the CPI(M) one seat with three going to Independents.

OB Bureau

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