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Meet Om Birla, the Two-time Kota MP, Who Was Unanimously Elected as 17th Lok Sabha Speaker

The 56-year-old was a surprise pick by the ruling BJP-led NDA as he is considered a relative newcomer.

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Updated:June 19, 2019, 6:11 PM IST

Om Birla, a two-time BJP MP from Rajasthan's Kota district has been unanimously elected as the new Lok Sabha Speaker after opposition parties supported his candidature. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had moved the motion for his election, led him to the Speaker's chair after completing the formalities over his election. The 56-year-old, who is considered to be close to both PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, was a surprise pick by the ruling BJP-led NDA as he is considered a relative newcomer.

Here's everything you need to know about India’s 17th Lok Sabha Speaker, Om Birla:

Already a three-time Member of Rajasthan Legislative Assembly from Kota South, Birla became a member of parliament for the second time from Kota Parliamentary Constituency during the 17th Lok Sabha elections.

Om Birla was born on November 23, 1962 and is an M.Com student from Govt. Commerce College, Kota. Birla started his journey in politics as a student leader and was elected to the Rajasthan Assembly for three consecutive terms in 2003, 2008 and 2013.

Om Birla won his first assembly elections contesting from Kota South in 2003 when he defeated Congress' Shanti Dhariwal by a margin of 10,101 votes. The 2008 elections saw him defending his seat by a comfortable margin of 24,300 votes to his nearest candidate Ram Kishan Verma from Congress.

He won his third assembly election against Pankaj Mehta (Congress) by close to 50,000 votes in 2013. Birla had been the chairperson of the Rajasthan Rajya Sahakari Upbhokta Sangh from 1992 to 1995 and vice-president of the National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India in New Delhi.

From 1991 to 2003, he was a key leader in the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BYJM), first as a state level president, then as a vice-president at the national level. He succeeds eight-time MP Sumitra Mahajan as the Lok Sabha Speaker.

Birla is not unknown to controversies. Last year, his private secretary Mahendra Gautam had alleged that the new Lok Sabha Speaker was involved in illegal and corrupt activities. Earlier this year, the Rajasthan High Court dismissed a case of disproportionate income and possession of benami properties originally filed by Gautam against Birla.

| Edited by: Karan Anand
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