In welcome speech for Om Birla as Lok Sabha Speaker, PM Modi recalls his old friendship with Kota MP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday heaped praise on newly elected Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla for his public life. Speaking on the floor of the House, PM Modi recalled his friendship with Birla which goes back to his student days when the two worked as workers in the Bharatiya Janata Party. PM Modi noted that Birla has been active in social life since his student days and lauded his participation during times of crisis. Making special mention of his social work during the 2001 Gujarat earthquake and the floods in Uttarakhand in 2013, the Prime Minister said Birla was the first person to visit and extend a helping hand wherever there is a crisis situation. The PM further noted that the BJP leader has been serving people of Kota with full sincerity for the last many decades. Recalling how Birla and his team had camped in Kutch during 2001 earthquake, Modi said, Om Birla is personality whose working style has been centric towards serving the society. Wherever he sees crisis, he is among those who reach the place first and help the people. I remember during Kutch earthquake, he and his young team camped there and served people for long in a situation where there was lack of facilities. He was also seen in Uttarakhand during the (2013) floods. Watch: PM Narendra Modi welcomes Om Birla As a BJP worker, he worked in the students movements and then went on to serve in the Yuva Morcha at the district level, state and national level, he added. About his friendship with Birla, Modi said, I worked in the organisation and as a friend, I got an opportunity to work with you (Om Birla). He is the man who has transformed and contributed to Kotas growth. Kota is today known as Kashi of education. Kota has been favourite of all those who dream of a good career. PM Modi also said that Birla is a man of public participation. Speaking about his initiatives, he said that Birla set up an organisation, namely Prasadam, which serves food to poor and helpless.Birla had taken a pledge that no one in Kota will sleep without a meal. He runs an organisation Prasadam. Under this yojana, he provides food to the poor, helpless and needy through public participation. Likewise, he runs Paridhan yojana in Kota where clothes are given to the poor through public participation. These schemes in Kota are still helping many, he said. A two-time MP from Rajasthans Kota-Bundi seat, Birlas choice as Lok Sabha Speaker to succed eight-time parliamentarian Sumitra Mahajan came as a surprise. The post is usually occupied to MPs with extensive experience and seniority. Prior to his election to the Lok Sabha in 2014, he had represented Kota Assembly seat thrice in the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly. His name for Speaker post was proposed by PM Modi, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah and Nitin Gadkari. The NDA constituents and opposition parties including the Congress and Trinamool Congress backed his candidature. Om Birla was elected as the Speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha unanimously. He succeeds BJPs eight-time Indore MP Sumitra Mahajan.


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