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Who is pro-tem Speaker Bhartruhari Mahtab? Know all about 7-time Cuttack MP

Mahtab is a seven-term MP, which makes him one of the longest-serving parliamentarians in the current Lok Sabha. The 66-year-old has been representing Cuttack in Parliament since 1998.

Who is pro-tem Speaker Bhartruhari Mahtab?  Know all about 7-time Cuttack MP gcw
First Published Jun 21, 2024, 10:30 AM IST

Seven-term Lok Sabha member Bhartruhari Mahtab was appointed pro tem Speaker of the Lower House on Thursday. The announcement was made by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju. The pro tem Speaker presides over the first meeting of the Lower House of Parliament after the general elections, besides presiding over the sitting in which the Speaker and Deputy Speaker are elected if it is a newly constituted House.

Bhartruhari Mahtab, who defected from the BJD to the BJP prior to the polls, was selected as the acting speaker following the BJP's impressive electoral showing in Odisha. Before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Bhartruhari Mahtab, the son of former Odisha Chief Minister Harekrushna Mahtab, was associated with the BJD led by Naveen Patnaik.

The 66-year-old leader had announced his resignation from the party in March, citing reduced activity within the party in recent months. Days later, Mahtab joined the BJP.

The veteran political leader has been an MP for seven terms, representing the Cuttack Lok Sabha seat since 1998.  Mahtab has received the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award in 2017, and the Sansad Ratna Award 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 for his outstanding role as an MP.

What is the role of Pro tem Speaker?

In addition to chairing the session when the Speaker and Deputy Speaker are chosen in the event that the House is freshly formed, the Pro Tem Speaker serves as the acting Speaker during the lower house of parliament's first session following the general elections.

Mahtab will lead the inaugural Lok Sabha session as Pro Tem Speaker and give the newly elected MPs their oath of office. In addition, he will supervise the Lok Sabha speaker's election. June 26 is the day set aside for the 18th Lok Sabha Speaker's election. The first session of the recently elected Lok Sabha will take place from June 24 to July 3.

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