Gandhinagar: Atmaram Parmar, former minister and sitting BJP MLA from Gadhda in Bhavnagar district, was on Wednesday elected as the deputy Speaker of the state Assembly.
Congress had fielded its Dahod MLA Chandrika Bariya in the election; however, the contest was one-sided as BJP enjoys a comfortable majority.
Parmar, 62, a Dalit, was elected through a voice vote.
The election became necessary as the Speaker Ganpat Vasava is hospitalised and being treated for swine flu.
BJP MLA from Kutch Dr Neemaben Acharya, who was on the five-member panel of substitute speakers, was the acting Speaker since Monday. After Parmar was elected in the first half today, he took over from her.
Parmar, a lawyer as well as a farmer by profession, is a five-time MLA and had served as minister of state for social welfare in Narendra Modi government during 2002-07.
He was also the deputy chief whip of BJP from May 2014.