A five-term member, Thambidurai represents Karur constituency in Tamil Nadu and his party is the second largest party in the opposition after the Congress. Thambidurai is set to get elected as the Deputy Speaker at a time when there is no word yet on the Leader of the Opposition status for Congress which is strongly pitching for the post despite getting 44 seats, 11 short for the requisite numbers.
A total of twelve sets of nominations were filed on his behalf with parties in the BJP-led NDA supporting him so also Congress and other opposition parties.
The 11 parties that supported Thambidurai's candidature were BJP, Shiv Sena, TDP, Lok Jan Shakti Party, (All part of NDA) as also opposition parties Congress, AIADMK, Samajvadi Party, Trinamul Congress, BJD, TRS and YSR CP. On behalf of BJP, two sets of nominations were filed with Rajnath Singh and M.M Joshi as proposers and Sushma Swaraj and L K Advani as seconders.
The Congress also supported Thambidurai's candidature as the deputy speaker
Other leaders who proposed the candidature of Thambidurai include- Mallikarjuna Kharge of Congress, Mulayam Singh Yadav of SP, Ram Vilas Paswan of LJP, Anant Geete (Shiv Sena), K Sriniavasa Rao of TDP, A P Jitender Reddy of TRS, B.Renuka of YSR CP, Sudip Bandopadhyay of TMC and Bhartruhari Mahatab of BJD. AIADMK with 37 MPs is the third largest party in Lok Sabha after BJP and Congress, which have 279 and 44 members respectively.
While formal election for the post is scheduled tomorrow, the election of Thambidurai as the Deputy Speaker was being talked about for the past over a month after a meeting between AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu had spoken to leaders of various parties including Congress and SP and sought their support for unanimous election of Thambidurai for the post.