Kuldeep Pathania unanimously elected Speaker of the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly

Dharamshala: Kuldeep Singh Pathania, a five-time MLA from Bhattiyat constituency, was on Thursday unanimously elected as the 18th speaker of the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly.

Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri and Solan MLA Dhani Ram Shandil moved three resolutions proposing Pathania’s name for the post of Speaker. Pathania, 65, was the only candidate to file nomination on the first day of the first session of the 14th Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.

Sukhu said Pathania belonged to a non-political family and was the youngest legislator when he was first elected to the assembly in 1985.

He said that the House would be benefitted by the experience of Pathania, as he is a legal expert and is well-versed in the rules and regulations of the Assembly.

Leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur said, “He has practiced in the High Court and knows the law better. Expressing hope that the opposition will get ‘full protection’ from the Speaker, he said that Pathania will also get full cooperation for the smooth functioning of the House.

Churah MLA and former Deputy Speaker Hansraj said that it is a matter of pride for Chamba that the present Speaker of the Vidhan Sabha is from the district.

Pathania in his address assured the members that they would be given enough time to raise issues related to the state.

He said that new traditions would be established and the high decorum for which the House is known would be maintained.

He also recalled the contribution of veteran leaders like Durga Chand, Sukh Ram, Sant Ram and Virbhadra Singh. Pathania said that there are 23 first-time MLAs in this House, which is the highest number so far and special training sessions will be organized for them.