Senior BJP leader and former state finance minister Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala was unanimously elected the Speaker in the 13th Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.
His appointment was hailed by Chief Minister Narendra Modi besides senior ministers and House members. Vala was ushered to his chair by Modi, Vaghela and Keshubhai besides Ganpat Vasava amid thumping of desks.
Congratulating Vala on the occasion, Modi said Vala had performed his duty in all capacities inside and outside the Assembly very efficiently in his career spanning over 45 years. He said it was not a small achievement that Vala had been a motivating force as a senior minister in the government. He made a special mention of his sense of humour that helped lighten many a crisis situations and relaxed tempers in tense moments. He also took note of Vala being elected unanimously as upholding of a healthy democratic tradition.
While greeting Vala, Leader of Opposition Shankarsinh Vaghela urged him to follow the principles practised by former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and go beyond party lines. He assured Vala of full cooperation from the Opposition benches but said it was also expected that the Speaker would take care of the Opposition and young MLAs.
GPP chief and former chief minister Keshubhai Patel on the occasion advised the ruling party to accept the views of the Opposition on the public issues in a positive way. NCP member Jayant Patel also greeted Vala.
Vala in his speech said, “I will try to fulfil your expectations and give full chance to the Opposition benches but you will have to maintain the decorum in whatever you speak here.” He further said development was a physical thing but “actually all of us have gathered here for development of the nation, of which Gujarat is a part”. “We will be developing the nation by developing Gujarat,” he said.
Later, the House passed obituary resolutions condoling deaths of eleven leaders, including one former PM I K Gujral, two former Governors Naval Kishore Sharma and Kailashpati Mishra, one former Union Minister Kashiram Rana and two former ministers Popatlal Vyas and Barjul Patel besides former MLAs Ramnikbhai Dhami, Fatehsinh Sodha, Dilipsinh Thakor, and Indranath Madhusudan Parmar. Tributes were also paid to Savitaben Vechatbhai Khant who had died before announcement of election result on December 20, 2012.