The inaugural session of the 17th Lok Sabha will begin today. While several key Bills are on agenda, Day 1 and 2 of the inaugural session will see the pro-tem Speaker administering oath to the elected lawmakers. According to an HT report, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the first to take oath as he is the leader of the House. The report also mentioned that UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi will also get a special slot in the ceremony. The report says that the Parliament’s rules make it compulsory for the lawmakers to take oath. As long as a member does not take the oath, he or she cannot participate in any business of the House, the rule says.
“During the [Congress-led] UPA era, the PM [Prime Minister Manmohan Singh] belonged to the other [upper] House [Rajya Sabha]. So, the leader of the House took oath first. But this time, Modi is the Prime Minister and the leader of the House,” the HT quoted an official as saying.
Last week, the BJP had announced its parliamentary party executive committee with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its leader in Lok Sabha and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh as the deputy leader. In Rajya Sabha, Union minister Thaawarchand Gehlot, a veteran dalit face of the BJP, has been appointed as leader of the house and his cabinet colleague Piyush Goyal as the deputy leader. Gehlot replaced senior BJP leader and former Union minister Arun Jaitley as leader of the house in Rajya Sabha. Jaitley had requested the leadership to relieve him from key positions in view of his poor health. Union minister Smriti Irani's induction as a special invitee in the BJP's parliamentary party executive committee underscores elevation in her stature within the party after she defeated Congress president Rahul Gandhi from the Amethi parliamentary constituency.
The passage of Union Budget and the triple talaq will be on top of the agenda for the government as the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha will commence from today. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chairing an all-party meeting on the eve of the first session, invited heads of all parties to a meeting on June 19 who have an MP either in the Lower House or the Rajya Sabha to discuss the "one nation, one election" issue.
The meeting will also discuss the issue of celebrations of 75 years of India's Independence in 2022 and 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary this year, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said.
Modi also invited all MPs from both houses of Parliament for a dinner on June 20 where they will interact freely and exchange views. "Both these are initiatives are aimed to build 'esprit de corps' among members of all parties in Parliament," Joshi said.
Modi said the first session of the Lower House of Parliament should begin with "fresh zeal and new thinking", noting that there are many new faces in this Lok Sabha.
At the all-party meeting, the Congress raised with the government issues of unemployment, farmers distress, drought, and press freedom, while also calling for early conduct of assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir.
(With agency inputs)