Former Union minister C P Joshi was elected Wednesday elected unopposed the speaker of the 15th Rajasthan Legislative Assembly. A Congress legislator from Nathdwara, Joshi was named for the post by the party's top leadership. The 68-year-old Congress veteran took over the chair relieving protem speaker Gulab Chand Kataria after the House passed the motion for his election by a voice vote.
Joshi was the MP from Bhilwara in the 15th Lok Sabha and had served as the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Panchayati Raj from 2009 to 2013. Congress MLA Mahesh Joshi was appointed chief whip of the party, while Mahendra Choudhary was made its deputy chief whip. Congratulating Joshi on his his election, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said he has a rich experience of legislative rules and procedures both as a parliamentarian and state legislator. Gehlot expressed confidence that Joshi would take care of the feelings of all members.
In his address to the House, Joshi said the assembly runs on rules and traditions and both the ruling and opposition parties should ensure that they work for the people's welfare in shortest possible time set under set rules. The Speaker said he would work in a unbiased manner considering the dignity of the chair. It is the responsibility of the elected government to put bureaucracy to work and make it accountable to the assembly, Joshi told reporters at a press conference after the House was adjourned for the day.
He also stressed on the need of training for the first-time MLAs for the House to conduct its proceedings effectively. Joshi said the need of training for the first-time MLAs would be deliberated upon after the first session of the assembly and, if required, it would be provided to them. The Speaker said he would strive to ensure that there is no communication gap between the ruling and opposition parties during his tenure. "It will be my responsibility that debate is done on relevant issues. It is the requirement of parliamentary traditions that we express our views and differences," he said.
(With inputs from agencies.)