Tradition vs. Change: Intense Competition between Birla and Gunjal in Kota Lok Sabha Elections

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Published on : 22 Apr, 24 06:04

Tradition vs. Change: Intense Competition between Birla and Gunjal in Kota Lok Sabha Elections

The political landscape in Kota has been historically intriguing, especially with regards to the elections for the Lok Sabha Speaker. No Lok Sabha Speaker has ever been re-elected to the Lok Sabha through elections. Representing the Kota-Bundi Lok Sabha constituency, Birla, a BJP candidate, is facing stiff competition from Gunjal, the Congress nominee. Consequently, there is widespread speculation about whether tradition will hold or a new record will be set.

It is noteworthy that Gunjal, a former associate of Om Birla, recently switched allegiance to the Congress and is now challenging Birla, his former party colleague, for the Congress ticket. Their fate will be sealed on April 26th, but it will only be on June 4th that we will know whether a record will be established or tradition will prevail.

GMC Balayogi: A Helicopter Tragedy Ends Consecutive Speakerships
GMC Balayogi, who served twice as the Lok Sabha Speaker, was the last parliamentarian to hold this position for consecutive terms. Following his tragic demise in a helicopter accident, no other member could achieve the feat of becoming Lok Sabha Speaker twice.

After the 1998 elections, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) formed the central government, with support from the Telugu Desam Party. GMC Balayogi, elected from Amalapuram, became the Lok Sabha Speaker. He was elected Speaker on October 22, 1999, but tragically passed away in a helicopter accident in Andhra Pradesh on March 2, 2002.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the then Prime Minister, personally extended condolences to Balayogi's family. Manohar Joshi: Defeat in 2004
After GMC Balayogi's death, Manohar Joshi, the leader of the Shiv Sena and a Member of Parliament from Mumbai North Central, was appointed as the Lok Sabha Speaker. He served in this position until 2004. However, Joshi lost the 2004 Lok Sabha elections to Congress candidate Eknath Gaikwad. Subsequently, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2006.

Somnath Chatterjee: Opting Out of Elections
Somnath Chatterjee, a senior leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and a Member of Parliament from Bolpur, was elected as the Lok Sabha Speaker on August 4, 2004. He remained in this position until May 16, 2009. Despite the withdrawal of support from Left parties to the UPA government in 2008, Chatterjee continued in his role. However, he was expelled from the party. Chatterjee did not contest the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and retired from active politics.

Meira Kumar: Confronting Defeat
After the 2009 elections, Meira Kumar, a Congress leader and Member of Parliament from Sasaram, was appointed as the Lok Sabha Speaker. She held this position until May 18, 2014. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, she contested from Sasaram again but faced defeat and did not return to the Lok Sabha.

Sumitra Mahajan: Retirement from Politics
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Sumitra Mahajan, a BJP leader and Member of Parliament from Indore, was appointed as the Lok Sabha Speaker when the BJP formed a majority government. She served in this position from June 6, 2014, until June 17, 2019. Following the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Mahajan retired from active politics.

Balram Jakhar Held the Longest and Baliram Bhagat the Shortest Term as Lok Sabha Speaker
Balram Jakhar holds the record for the longest tenure as Lok Sabha Speaker, serving for 9 years and 329 days, from January 22, 1980, to December 18, 1989. On the other hand, Baliram Bhagat served for the shortest period, holding the position for 1 year and 69 days, from January 15, 1976, to March 25, 1977.

Conclusion
The Kota Lok Sabha seat has witnessed varied political affiliations over the years. In the post-independence era, Congress, BJP, and Bharatiya Jana Sangh have dominated the constituency, along with occasional victories by parties like Janata Party, Indian National Congress (O), and independents. In the 2023 assembly elections within the Kota-Bundi Lok Sabha constituency, both Congress and BJP secured victories on 4 out of 8 assembly seats.


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