Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha telling the Opposition that numbers do not matter, but what matters is their view. Addressing the media outside the Parliament on Monday, Modi reached out to the Opposition on the first day of the Monsoon Session and said that every word of the Opposition is valuable to the government.
He urged all MPs to be impartial in the House and address issues related to the larger interest of the nation.
Addressing the media outside parliament before the commencement of the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha, Modi said, "When we come to Parliament, we should forget 'paksh' (treasury) and 'vipaksh' (opposition). We should think about issues with a 'nishpaksh' (impartial) spirit and work in the larger interest of the nation."
Underlining the importance of active opposition in a parliamentary democracy, Modi said he hopes the opposition "will speak actively and participate in House proceedings... I am hopeful that this session will be productive."
"The role of an opposition and active opposition is the important prerequisite in a parliamentary democracy. The opposition need not bother about their numbers. I hope they speak actively and participate in House proceedings...their every word...every feeling is valuable to us," he said.
The Speaker will be elected on Wednesday. The next day, at a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament, President Ram Nath Kovind will deliver his customary address.
Talking about the newly constituted Lok Sabha, Modi said it is historic in various terms as the maximum number of women MPs have been elected to the lower house since the Independence.
Modi said as this is the first session with new members, there will be a flow of new energy and a new enthusiasm will be reflected in the House to realise the aspirations of the people.
The prime minister said his government worked on the principle of 'sabka sath, sabka vikas' (with all, development for all) during his first term and people reposed their faith in it for a second time. As a result, a government has been reelected with a clear majority after several decades, he said.
Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi also said that the government and Opposition parties should work together for the welfare of the people.
"As per the mandate, ruling party and Opposition hold a role to play for the country. We have to work together for the welfare of the people and keeping the country's interest in mind. The prime minister has guided us to work together for the nation. We all are making the efforts to achieve the same," Joshi told reporters in New Delhi.
He also urged the Opposition to work with the government to ensure the smooth passage of bills which are to be tabled during the month-long session.
First session of 17th Lok Sabha begins; Modi, other lawmakers take oath
Leader of the House and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Amit Shah were among those who took oath as Members of the 17th Lok Sabha that commenced here Monday.
As soon as the House met, the Members stood in silence for a few minutes as per the convention after the assembling of the new House.
When Modi's name was called out by the Secretary General for taking oath, Members from the ruling NDA thumped the desk greeting the Prime Minister with slogans such as 'Modi Modi' and "Bharat Mata ki Jai.
The panel of presiding officers - K Suresh, Brijbhushan Sharan Singh and B Mehtab - took oath as Members after the Prime Minister. While the Prime Minister and most of Union Ministers took oath in Hindi, Union Ministers Harsh Vardhan, Sripad Naik, Ashwini Chaubey and Pratap Chandra Sarangi took oath in Sanskrit.
While D V Sadananda Gowda and Prahlad Joshi took oath in Kannada, Harsimrat Kaur Badal took oath in Punjabi. Union Ministers Arvind Ganpat Sawant, Raosaheb Patil Danbe took oath in Marathi, Jitendra Singh in Dogri, Babul Supriyo in English, Rameshwar Teli in Assamese and Debashree Choudhury in Bangla.
BJD leader Mehtab took oath in Odiya.
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Samajwadi Party leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, DMK leaders Kanizmohi, A Raja were present in the House in the initial hours.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi was not seen when the House met. Earlier the new session began with the playing of the National Anthem. Before the House met, Virendra Kumar was sworn in as Pro-Tem Speaker by President Ramnath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Smriti receives the longest applause
Union Minister Smriti Irani, who defeated Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, received the longest applause when she took oath as a member of the 17th Lok Sabha on Monday.
As soon as she was called for oath taking, ruling BJP members, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, other union ministers and MPs were seen enthusiastically thumping the desk for a long time.
After taking oath in Hindi, Irani greeted pro-tem Speaker Virendra Kumar and also opposition leaders, including Rahul Gandhi's mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who reciprocated the greetings with a namaste gesture. The Union Textile Minister defeated Gandhi by a margin of over 55,000 votes in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi constituency, considered as the pocket borough of Gandhi family for long.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Jun 17, 2019 14:44:47 IST