Senior MLA from Bhuj constituency of Kutch district, Nimaben Acharya, became the first woman Speaker of Gujarat Legislative Assembly after she was elected to the post unanimously. Chief Minister Bhupenra Patel proposed the name of Nimaben Acharya for the post of Speaker and it was supported by Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani.
A gynaecologist by profession, 74-year-old Nimaben Acharya is the fifth-time MLA from Bhuj-Kutch. A native of Nagnesh in Surendranagar district, she has been associated with various activities related to women’s empowerment, rural development and sports. She has also performed duties in various committees of the Gujarat Assembly.
Election to the Speaker’s post was necessitated following the resignation of previous Speaker Rajendra Trivedi who was inducted into the Bhupendra Patel government as a senior minister of revenue, law & justice, disaster management and legislative & parliamentary affairs. During the tenure of Trivedi as Speaker, Nimaben Acharya was on the panel of the Speaker.
The Speaker is “the principal spokesman of the House. Article 93 for Lok Sabha and Article 178 for state Assemblies state that these Houses “shall, as soon as may be”, choose two of its members to be Speaker and Deputy Speaker. In Lok Sabha and state legislatures, the President/Governor sets a date for the election of the Speaker, and it is the Speaker who decides the date for the election of the Deputy Speaker. The legislators of the respective Houses vote to elect one among themselves to these offices.