Who is Virendra Kumar? Pro-tem Speaker worked at bicycle puncture shop before his plunge into politics

Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Member of Parliament Virendra Kumar today took oath as the pro-tem Speaker of the 17 Lok Sabha. He was administered oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind at a ceremony held in the Rashtrapati Bhavan in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top ministers present on the occasion. The tenure and role of a pro-tem Speaker is very short and limited but very crucial. After the swearing-in ceremony, Kumar headed to the Lok Sabha to preside over the first sitting of the 17th Lok Sabha. As a protem Speaker, Kumar will administer the oath of office and secrecy to all the newly-elected MPs over the next two days and enable the House to elect a full-time Speaker. The election for a full-time Speaker will be held on Wednesday. The office of protem Speaker ceases soon after the election of a permanent Speaker. President Kovind administered the Oath of Office to Dr Virendra Kumar as Pro-tem Speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha, at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan pic.twitter.com\/vjlFGcndav In 2014, Congress Kamal Nath, now Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, had discharged the duties of pro-tem Speaker. Who is Virendra Kumar? Kumar, 65, is a Dalit leader and hails from Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh. He is a seven-time BJP lawmaker and joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in his early college days. He contested his first Lok Sabha election in 1996 from Sagar parliamentary seat in Madhya Pradesh. He retained the seat in the 1988, 1999 and 2004 general elections. He successfully tried his luck from Tikamgarh in 2009. The Tikamgarh seat was created in 2009 after delimitation exercise. He retained the seat in 2014. In the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections, he defeated Congress Ahirwar Kiran by nearly 3.48 lakh votes from here. Kumar had served as a Minister of State in various Ministries in the first regime of Modi government. Born in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh on February 27, 1954, Kumar is a Khatik, an ethnic tribe with most of its population living in Madhya Pradesh. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Economics and also holds a doctorate degree for his research on child labour. Before joing active politics, Kumar was an active RSS worker. He had also served in the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Vishwa Hindu parishad (VHP). In the previous Modi government, Kumar had served as MoS for Minority Affairs and Women and Child Development. He was also the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Labour and Member of General Purpose Committee Kumar hails from a humble background and his family was very poor. He worked with his father at a bicycle shop to earn a livelihood for the family. Stories around him in his constituency reveal that whenever he visits his constituency and sees a bicycle puncture shop, he visits the shop and helps the labourers. He also provides them with some trade tips to fix punctures even today.


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