NEW DELHI (TIP):
AIADMK leader Muniswamy Thambidurai was on August 13 unanimously elected Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha, a post he had held 29 years ago as a first-term member. Life also came a full circle for the Congress which in 1985 had a brute majority of over 400 members in the 543- member Lok Sabha and had denied the post of deputy speaker to the single largest opposition party – TDP. On Wednesday, the 329-member NDA, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, denied the key post to the Congress, which is the largest party in opposition with 44 members.

BJD leader Bhratruhari Mahtab did not miss out the opportunity to cite this coincidence. “Things change, yet they do not change. In 1985, the ruling party had 400 plus members and the deputy speaker’s post had gone to the second largest party in the Opposition, as has happened now,” he said. The AIADMK, with 37 MPs, is the third largest party in the Lok Sabha.

The 67- year-old Thambidurai’s skills of handling the Lok Sabha members were put to test on Wednesday evening when he was in the chair as the House discussed measures to tackle incidents of communal violence in the country. Home Minister Rajnath Singh moved the motion to elect Thambidurai as Deputy Speaker and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj seconded him.