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Shri Manohar Joshi - Profile

The office of the Speaker occupies a pivotal position in our parliamentary democracy. It has been said of the office of the Speaker that while the members of Parliament represent the individual constituencies, the Speaker represents the full authority of the House itself. He symbolises the dignity and power of the House over which he is presiding. He is also the custodian of all the values and ethics that are crucial for the smooth functioning of parliamentary democracy. Indian Parliament, down its parliamentary history, has witnessed a galaxy of eminent Speakers, starting from Shri G.V. Mavalankar to Shri G.M.C. Balayogi, who have always upheld our great parliamentary traditions and left behind a great legacy for posterity. Shri Manohar Joshi joined this illustrious line of Presiding Officers when he was elected unopposed to the exalted position of Speaker on 10 May, 2002. His election is especially unique, as this is the Golden Jubilee year of not only our Parliament – after the first General Elections in 1952 – but also of the august office of the Speaker itself.
Born in Nandvi in the Raigad district of Maharashtra on 2 December 1937, Shri Joshi was educated in Mumbai. He is a Bachelor of Law and holds a Master's degree of Arts and is proficient in Marathi, Hindi, English and well versed in Sanskrit. He has held various positions in his political career and has undertaken a number of social activities. Shri Joshi has been keenly interested in the industrial development activities in general and the upliftment of the poor and downtrodden sections of our society, in particular. Shri Joshi is married to Smt. Anagha Manohar Joshi. They have one son and two daughters.

Political Career

Shri Joshi began his career as a teacher and plunged into active politics in 1967. He was a Municipal Councilor in Mumbai during 1968-78 and Chairman, Standing Committee (Municipal Corporation) in 1970. In between, he held the prestigious Office of the Mayor of Mumbai during 1976-77. He was also the Chairman of All India Council of Mayors. Shri Joshi’s legislative and parliamentary career began in 1972 with his election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council. He was elected thrice to the Legislative Council between 1972 and 1989. As a member, he had taken part in debates on a wide spectrum of issues in the House. However, it was his association with the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, which was the most eventful period of his political career before he assumed the office of the Speaker, Lok Sabha.
Shri Joshi was elected to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly in 1990. He served as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra during 1995-99. Earlier, he also served as the Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly during 1990-91. Shri Joshi is known for his outspoken and forthright views and strongly believes that a structured, responsible and healthy opposition greatly contributes to the strengthening of the democratic polity. He also believes that democracy thrives only where there is a willing cooperation between the opposition and the ruling party. In keeping with this firm conviction, he started a National Association of the Leaders of Opposition in the country.
In the 1999 General Elections, Shri Joshi contested from the Mumbai North - Central Lok Sabha Constituency on a Shiv Sena ticket and was elected to the Thirteenth Lok Sabha. Subsequently, he was inducted into the Vajpayee Government and held the important portfolio of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises. As a Cabinet Minister, he played a vital role in strengthening and expanding Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Sector by taking many important policy decisions.

Election as Speaker of Lok Sabha
After the tragic death of Speaker Shri G.M.C Balayogi in a helicopter crash, the post of Speaker remained vacant for some time and Deputy Speaker Shri P.M Sayeed discharged the duties of the Speaker in a very dignified manner. On 10 May 2002, the Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee himself moved the motion seeking the election of Shri Manohar Joshi and the motion was seconded by the Home Minister, Shri L.K.Advani. When the motion was put before the House for consideration and vote, the House adopted it unanimously and Shri Joshi was elected unopposed as the Speaker of Lok Sabha, the country’s highest representative Chamber. It is a matter of great pride that in the Golden Jubilee Year of Parliament, the House unitedly came to oneness of opinion in choosing Shri Joshi as the Presiding Officer. A soft spoken person and a man who believes in action, Shri Joshi is known for his competence and ability to handle difficult situations in a calm and cool manner. He happens to be the third member of Parliament from the State of Maharashtra to be elevated to the august office of Lok Sabha Speaker, his other two distinguished predecessors being Shri G.V. Mavalankar and Shri Shivraj V. Patil. He is also the only member to have been chosen for this coveted position in Parliament in his first term itself.
Shri Joshi was warmly felicitated on his election to the august office of the Speaker by the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition, the Deputy Speaker, and the Leaders of various Parties and groups. Congratulating Shri Joshi on his election to the Office of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, Shri P.M. Sayeed said that although Shri Joshi was new to Parliament, he was not new to parliamentary institutions and parliamentary procedures. His long stint and rich experience in the Maharashtra Legislature holding various positions, would guide him in running the House smoothly.
Felicitating Shri Joshi on having been elected unopposed to the Office of the Speaker, the Prime Minister said that Shri Joshi had come to occupy a seat which had great responsibility and obligations. Now onwards, he would be the sole custodian of the dignity of the House, he added. Commenting on his rich parliamentary and public life, the Prime Minister said that Shri Joshi had started his life as a grass-root worker and held a number of positions before his election to the Lok Sabha. He expressed confidence that Shri Joshi’s experience of the last many years in public life would guide him in conducting the business of the House properly and in a dignified manner, as envisaged in the Constitution.
Extending her felicitations to the newly-elected Speaker, the Leader of Opposition, Smt. Sonia Gandhi said that with his election to the highest office, a great responsibility has devolved upon Shri Joshi for maintaining the time-honoured traditions of our Parliament. She was confident that Shri Joshi’s experience in diverse fields would guide him in conducting the business of the House properly and judiciously like his predecessors.
CPI (M) leader Shri Somnath Chatterjee expressed his happiness over the election of educationist Shri Joshi as the Speaker of the House. To quote him, “we are very happy and proud that we have an educationist presiding over this House.” Shri K. Yerrannaidu, on behalf of the Telegu Desam Party, heartily congratulated Shri Joshi and felt sure that the experience of the last many years in public life will guide him in the conduct of the business of the House. Kumari Mamata Banerjee, extending her warm greetings and cooperation, hoped that Shri Joshi would discharge his duties impartially as the Speaker of the House and would strengthen the democratic, moral and the secular spirit in the House.
Extending his heartiest felicitations to the newly-elected Speaker, Former Prime Minister Shri Chandra Shekhar hoped that Shri Joshi would be able to conduct the proceedings of the House successfully.

Replying to the felicitations bestowed on him, Shri Joshi said:
I thank everyone of you wholeheartedly for electing me to the high constitutional office of the Speaker. A great responsibility has been entrusted to me and the fact that I am the unanimous choice of the House makes the responsibility indeed onerous. ………I consider it a great personal honour that I am that choice despite being a first time member of the House. I accept this responsibility with humility and I pledge that I shall uphold the trust you have reposed in me by discharging my duties impartially.
…….I am not new to parliamentary culture.I had a long stint in the Maharashtra Legislature in various capacities, including the Leader of the Opposition. The high traditions maintained by my predecessors from G. V. Mavalanker to G.M.C Balayogi and my long exposure to the Legislature in Maharashtra would guide me in upholding the traditions of this House and the dignity of this office. The Speaker represents the authority of the House while enforcing the procedure and is the first servant of the House while addressing the concerns of the Members. My approach would be friendly and persuasive, rather than rigid and strict. Therefore, I will make myself available to the Members at all times. It will also be my constant endeavour to protect the rights and privileges of the House and of its Hon. Members. I seek the cooperation of the Media in projecting the right image of our Parliament to our countrymen. I am sure their meaningful cooperation will ever be forthcoming.

Manohar Joshi, the Person

As a successful businessman of long standing, Shri Joshi had been Chairman and Managing Director, Proprietor, Partner of several establishments. He believes in giving equal importance to industrial and agricultural sectors and hence worked hard for the advancement of both. He founded the Jagatik Marathi Chamber of Commerce and Industry. During his Chief Ministership, he organized Advantage Maharashtra Conference to promote industrial investments in the State; arranged a programme known as Agro Advantage Maharashtra for farmers and also organised an exhibition displaying information on advanced technology in the field of agriculture. During his Chief Ministership, he was also instrumental in the construction of a number of fly-overs in Mumbai; he also conceived and started the construction of the Mumbai-Pune Express-way Project, Krishna Valley Irrigation Project and schemes like ‘Tanker-free Maharashtra Scheme.
A keen sports enthusiast, Shri Joshi has held the position of President of the Mumbai Cricket Association and Vice-President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. He was also a Member of the Mumbai University Senate and Executive Council. During his tenure as Mayor of Mumbai, he started reading room facility with an idea to help the poor and needy students. As an educationist, he played an important role in promoting education and was instrumental in the foundation of the Kohinoor Technical Institute, which imparts technical education to youth so as to enable them to become self-employed. It was for this laudable endeavour that he is lovingly known as “Sir” among his followers. He played a vital role in the betterment of all sections of the society including the youth, the women and the aged. During his tenure as Chief Minister, he started the Kamadhenu Policy for women, Matoshri Vrudhashram Scheme for the aged and Sainik Schools for the youth.
Shri Joshi is a multi-faceted personality. He has always had an abiding concern about environment and has taken up a host of issues relating to labour, agriculture, housing, employment and the promotion of the Marathi language. He conceived the idea of Clean Mumbai-Green Mumbai and was actively associated with the Green Movement. He also authored a book Swachh Mumbai; Harit Mumbai in Marathi focusing on the problems relating to environment and Clean Mumbai Movement. As part of an active cultural and literary involvement, he set up a Kala Academy in Mumbai; instituted Maharashtra Bhusan Award and organized a graceful Akhil Bharatiya Sahitya Sammelan at Shivaji Park, Mumbai during his tenure as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
Shri Joshi has undertaken several visits to foreign countries including Australia, Canada, China, Croatia, Israel, Japan, Mauritius, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland, UK, USA and African Countries. Since assuming the office of the Speaker of Lok Sabha, he has led Indian Parliamentary Delegations to several countries and to various international parliamentary conferences.

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