First session of 18th Lok Sabha to begin today, PM Modi, newly elected members to take oath

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New Delhi: The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha will begin on Monday, which will witness the oath-taking ceremony of newly elected Members of Parliament, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The first session is expected to be stormy as the opposition is likely to corner the BJP-led NDA government on the election of the Speaker on June 26, discussions regarding allegations of paper leaks in NEET-UG and UGC-NET, and row over the appointment of the pro-tem Speaker.

President Droupadi Murmu will administer the oath to Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker Bhartruhari Mahtab as the pro-tem Speaker of the Lok Sabha. Mahtab will then call upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Leader of the Lok Sabha, to take oath as member of the House. On June 26, the Lok Sabha Speaker will be elected. On June 27, President Droupadi Murmu is scheduled to address the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament.

This is the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha post the general elections, which saw the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) securing 293 seats and the INDIA bloc wining 234 with the Congress holding 99 of them. Meanwhile, the Newly Elected Congress MPs meeting is called at 10 am at the CPP office in Parliament today.

After the alleged irregularities in the medical entrance examination National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test-Undergraduate 2024 (NEET-UG), Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi targeted the BJP and said that they stand with the students. The row over the appointment of BJP leader Bhartruhari Mahtab as the pro-tem Speaker is expected to shadow the proceedings as opposition claimed that Congress Member K Suresh, who is the senior most member was disregarded by the government.

Meanwhile, BJP MP Bhartruhari Mahtab, who has been appointed as the pro-tem Speaker, will administer the oath to newly elected members and oversee the proceedings of the House. The Congress has reacted sharply to the central government’s decision to appoint seven-term BJP MP Bhartruhari Mahtab as Pro-tem Speaker of Lok Sabha over senior-most Dalit MP Kodikkunnil Suresh of Congress, saying that the appointment by the BJP deviates from the traditional practice of appointing the senior member.

Congress leader K Suresh said that there is an eighth-term MP in the House, but a seventh-term MP has been appointed as pro-tem Speaker.
“We are claiming that an eighth-term MP should be the pro-tem Speaker…They have done wrong and now the whole country is criticising the decision of the BJP government,” K Suresh said.

Congress MP Hibi Eden said that NDA government have violated all the traditions and customs. “There are certain customs related to the Parliament of India, and it is always the senior-most member irrespective of the party, who is given the opportunity to become the pro-tem speaker. It is merely a matter of two days but it is the respect given to the member whichever party he/she is from. Unfortunately, a Dalit member, who is an 8-time MP from Kerala has been denied the right to become the pro-tem speaker. This shows the attitude of the NDA government towards the Dalit and the oppressed community of this country. They have violated all the traditions and customs… Even though this session is hardly for 8 days, it should have been in consensus with the opposition because we are representing almost 45 per cent of the country,” he said.

President Murmu also appointed Suresh Kodikunnil, Thalikkottai Rajuthevar Baalu, Radha Mohan Singh, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Sudip Bandyopadhyay to assist the Speaker Protem in oath taking of the newly elected members. The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha will be held from June 24 and conclude on July 3 for oath/affirmation of newly elected Members. The 264th Session of Rajya Sabha will also commence on June 27 and conclude on July 3. Moreover, the Samajwadi Party Parliamentary meeting is to be held on Monday in Delhi. The meeting will be chaired by party National President Akhilesh Yadav. The last session of the 17th Lok Sabha (Budget session) was held between January 31 and February 10, 2024.

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