Stage set for stormy Parliament session

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Opposition likely to corner the BJP-led NDA government on the election of the Speaker, discussions regarding paper leaks in NEET-UG and UGC-NET…reports Asian Lite News

The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha beginning Monday will see oath-taking by newly elected members followed by the election of the Lok Sabha Speaker on June 26 and President Droupadi Murmu’s address to the joint sitting of both the Houses on June 27.

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.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju asserted that Mahtab has had seven uninterrupted terms as a Lok Sabha member, making him eligible for the post, while Suresh lost elections in 1998 and 2004 which makes his current term the fourth straight one in the lower house. Earlier, he was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1989, 1991, 1996 and 1999.

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.

On Monday, President Droupadi Murmu will administer the oath to Mahtab as the pro-tem Speaker of the Lok Sabha at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

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 proceedings will begin with members observing a moment of silence on the occasion of the first sitting of the 18th Lok Sabha. This will be followed by Lok Sabha Secretary General Utpal Kumar Singh placing on the table of the House the list of the members elected to the lower house.

Mahtab will then call upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Leader of the Lok Sabha, to take oath as member of the House.

The pro-tem speaker will then administer oath to the panel of chairpersons appointed by the President to assist him in carrying out the proceedings of the House till the election of the Speaker on June 26.

The President has appointed Kodikunnil Suresh (Congress), T R Baalu (DMK), Radha Mohan Singh and Faggan Singh Kulaste (both BJP) and Sudip Bandyopadhyay (TMC) to assist Mahtab in administering the oath/affirmation to the newly elected members of the Lok Sabha.

After the panel of chairpersons, the pro-tem speaker will administer the oath/affirmation as Lok Sabha members to the Council of Ministers. The members from states, in alphabetical order, will take oath or make affirmation over the next two days.

The election to the post of Lok Sabha Speaker will take place on Wednesday and the prime minister will introduce his council of ministers to the House soon after.

The President is scheduled to address the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament on June 27. The debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address will begin on June 28. The prime minister is expected to respond to the debate on July 2 or 3.

Both the Houses are expected to go into a brief recess and re-assemble on July 22 for the presentation of the Union Budget.

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