Delhi Speaker to be from AAP as Congress, BJP decline honour

Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Admi Party, set to form the Delhi government with the half-hearted support of the Congress party, will have to appoint a temporary Speaker from its own ranks, with both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party declining the honour.

On Monday evening, Delhi's Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had officially appointed the BJP's Jagdish Mukhi, a long-time MLA and former minister in the Delhi cabinet, as Speaker. But Mukhi later rejected the appointment. "The decision was taken by my party that neither I nor any MLA of the party will be the pro-team Speaker,'' he said.

With the Congress too refusing to put up a name for the assembly speaker, the onus is now on the AAP, whose doom every other political party is eagerly awaiting.

The Assembly meets for the first time on New Year's Day, and the pro-tem speaker will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the new MLAs. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is expected to seek a vote of confidence on 3 January.

"Now the pro-tem Speaker will be from AAP; we will announce (the name) by today evening," AAP leader Sanjay Singh said in New Delhi.

Singh also slammed the BJP for not taking the responsibility. "Why can't BJP or the Congress even take up a small responsibility like appointing a pro-tem speaker?" he asked.

Singh and Kumar Vishwas, another AAP leader, met Kejriwal at his residence this morning. Vishwas had said on Monday that he would be taking on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in the Amethi constituency in the Lok Sabha elections.

He claimed that Gandhi has not asked any question pertaining to his constituency in the Lok Sabha in the last 10 years.