With strained government-opposition ties marring the functioning of previous Lok Sabha, new Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Friday said creating ‘coordination’ among parties will be her top priority and she will be ‘gentle but firm’ to ensure smooth proceedings.
The senior-most woman parliamentarian has taken the new responsibility as yet another ‘challenge’ in her long political career spanning over three decades. “Every new responsibility is a challenge for any human being. For me making first roti, contesting first election were also challenges and now I have this new responsibility, which the party has given me,” Mahajan said in an interview.
The parliamentarian from Indore created history last month by becoming the first woman MP to have won eight times in row from the same Lok Sabha constituency. She defeated Satyanarayan Patel of Congress by a margin of 4,66,901 votes, highest in Madhya Pradesh.
Gearing up for the new responsibility, Mahajan said that she will try her level best to fulfil the expectations. “The most important thing is that almost all other parties have supported it (her candidature). I will try my best to fulfil the expectations,” she added.
Her priority, she said, will be to create and maintain coordination among all the parties. “Let’s see what happens in the future... but the first thing will be to develop co-ordination among all,” said the veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader.
There have been regular disruptions in Parliament in previous sessions and considering her soft-spoken nature, won’t it be a challenge for her? “There have been many reasons for disruptions in Parliament. I don’t want to talk about them now. You have seen when Parliament proceedings were disrupted and you will see if the proceedings are smooth in future,” said Mahajan, adding she will handle things in her own way.
Fondly called tai (elder sister in Marathi), she said she will be like a mother, who loves her kids and scolds them as well when needed. “I am also a mother and I have a heart of a mother so I will handle every situation like that,” said Mahajan, who is a law graduate and has a Master of Arts degree from Indore University.
Image: Sumitra Mahajan smiles and greets Mulayam Singh Yadav after being elected as Speaker. Photograph: PTI