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PM Modi takes oath for 18th LS as Leader of the House

Pm Modi

As the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha commenced today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took oath as the Leader of the House. Sharing his remarks ahead of the first sitting where all 280 new MPs will take oath, the PM said all efforts will be made to move forward with “consensus” to serve the people of the country. “May it be a productive one… I hope the Opposition fulfills the responsibility as the opposition of the people and meets their expectations of debate and vigilance as opposed to disturbance and drama,” he added. Meanwhile, the seven-term MP Bhartruhari Mahtab who was appointed as the pro-tem Speaker was administered oath by President Droupadi Murmu at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan. The first session will have eight sittings and will go on till July 3.

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The resurgent Opposition which is gearing up to push the NDA government for answers on several issues including the ongoing NEET-NET exam paper leak row among others has begun its aggressive stance over Mahtab’s appointment as the pro-tem Speaker and said it will not “help or assist the government” in this matter. It slammed the government for overlooking eight-term Lok Sabha member Kodikunnil Suresh who should have got it as per the convention of naming the senior-most MP to the post. They alleged that Suresh was sidelined as “he belongs to the Dalit community”. Earlier this week, along with Mahtab’s appointment, President Murmu also nominated a panel of senior MPs comprising Suresh, DMK MP T R Baalu, Trinamool Congress (TMC)’s Sudip Bandyopadhyay, and BJP leaders Radha Mohan Singh and Faggan Singh Kulaste to assist Mahtab. However, the INDIA bloc is now likely to reject the role given to Suresh and two others .

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On Wednesday (June 26), the election of the new Speaker will take place. There has, however, not been any discussion on this within the bloc. According to sources, the BJP-led NDA is pitching for a consensus candidate and the Opposition parties agree but are pointing out that according to convention the Opposition should be offered the post of Deputy Speaker. Some Congress leaders are said to be pressing for Suresh to be fielded to make a political point

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