Gandhinagar: Veteran leader and former state Finance Minister Vaju Vala was unanimously elected as the new Speaker of the Gujarat Assembly here on Wednesday.
During the first session of the thirteenth Assembly, Chief Minister Narendra Modi proposed Vala's name for the post, which was supported by veteran Congress leader Mohansingh Rathwa.
Pro tem Speaker Nima Acharya then put the name of Vala for voting and he was elected unanimously by a voice vote, following which, Modi, along with two former Chief Ministers Shankarsinh Vaghela and Keshubhai Patel and former Speaker Ganpat Vasava, led Vala to his chair.
"I assure this House to uphold the tradition and value of this post with all my sincerity and to fulfill all the expectations of the members," Vala said in his first address to the House as the Speaker.
"At the same time, I also expect that all the members of this House will uphold the prestige of the House whenever they make a speech," he added.
He also requested all the members to help him in smooth functioning of the Assembly. "Let's all work for the development of our state and for the nation building," he said.
Congratulating Vala on the occasion, Modi said he was a "motivational force".
Modi also praised Vala for his "great" sense of humour', as well as for being "an able administrator and an extra-ordinary leader". Newly elected Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Shankarsingh Vaghela remembered his association with Vala on the occasion.
Keshubhai Patel, NCP leader Jayant Patel, Finance Minister Nitin Patel, Education Minister Bhupendra Chudasama, Minister of Parliamentary affairs and former Speaker Ganpat Vasava, Congress leaders Jasa Barad and Balwantsingh Rajput also congratulated Vala and addressed the House.
Vala, the six-time MLA, who holds the record of presenting the most number of state Budgets (14 times), had resigned from the primary membership of BJP on Tuesday before filing his nomination papers for the post.


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