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Senior BJP leader Surama Padhy elected Speaker of Odisha Assembly

Senior BJP leader Surama Padhy was on Thursday elected unopposed as the Speaker of the Odisha Assembly.

Bhubaneswar: Senior BJP leader Surama Padhy was on Thursday elected unopposed as the Speaker of the Odisha Assembly.

Padhy, a two-time MLA from the Ranpur in Nayagarh district, was the lone candidate for the post. She was elected unopposed as there was no other candidate in the fray.

Pro-tem Speaker R P Swain announced her election and handed over the charge to her in the special session of the Assembly.

Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi, deputy chief ministers – KV Singh Deo, Pravati Parida, Leader of Opposition Naveen Patnaik and other members of the House greeted the new Speaker.

Padhy is the second woman to become Speaker of the Odisha Assembly after Pramila Mallick of BJD.

After her election, Padhy said: “I express my heartfelt gratitude to all for electing me as the Speaker of this August House. I hail from a humble family and never thought of occupying such a prestigious post and responsibility. I am overwhelmed. It is our combined responsibility to maintain the dignity of this House. Therefore, I seek your cooperation. I will do my best to maintain neutrality with the cooperation of all.”

The chief minister congratulated the new Speaker and sought the cooperation of all members including those in opposition to cooperate with Padhy for the smooth functioning of the House.

Leader of Opposition Naveen Patnaik said: “I congratulate you (Padhy) as the speaker of the 17th Assembly. I am sure that during your tenure as Speaker, you will uphold the dignity of this August House. I also hope that the members will cooperate in the smooth functioning of the House.”

Congress Legislature Party leader Taraprasad Bahinipati and CPI(M)’s lone MLA Laxman Munda also congratulated Padhy on being elected Speaker of Odisha Assembly.

Sixty-three year old Padhy this time won the election from Ranpur assembly segment. She defeated Satyanarayan Pradhan of Biju Janata Dal by a margin of 15,544 votes.

In 2004, Padhy was elected from Ranpur and served as the Cooperation Minister in the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD-BJP alliance government.

In September 2023, senior BJD leader Pramila Mallick created history by becoming the first woman speaker of Odisha Assembly.

The ruling BJP has 78 MLAs in the 147-member Odisha Assembly.

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