Ritu Khanduri becomes the first female Speaker of Uttarakhand Assembly

BJP MLA Ritu Khanduri, the daughter of former Chief Minister BC Khanduri, was elected unopposed as the first female Speaker of Uttarakhand Assembly on Saturday. The announcement of his election was made by pro-tem President Banshidhar Bhagat.

His election to the post was a foregone conclusion as the main opposition Congress opted to stay out of the competition.

Ritu Khanduri won Kotdwar beating former SS Minister Negi by over 3,000 votes. She won her first Assembly election in Yamkeshwar constituency in 2017.

Before entering politics, she taught at a private university in Noida for several years.

In his first address to MPs shortly after his election, Khanduri urged new lawmakers to use five years of their term to educate themselves on legislative procedures and participate enthusiastically in debates in the House on matters of public interest.

Congratulating her, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami dwelt on her academic achievements and said her assumption of office as the first female president of the state was a recognition of the valuable contribution made by women to the movement for Uttarakhand for the establishment of a state.

“This is a historic day for us. We had our first female speaker in you today. ‘Uttarakhand,” Dhami said.

Opposition members Pritam Singh and Yashpal Arya also praised her, saying they were confident she would continue her father’s legacy of probity in public life and lay the foundation for sound legislative practices.

Singh also expressed hope that under his leadership, the House will pass a resolution granting a 33% reservation to women in the state legislature.

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