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    India18th Lok Sabha’s 1st session begins today, likely to be stormy

    18th Lok Sabha’s 1st session begins today, likely to be stormy


    New Delhi: Acrimonious exchanges surfaced on the eve of the first session of 18th commencing here from Monday with the Congress refusing to let go of its claim on the Pro tem Speaker's post and the ruling BJP hitting back with the “disruptive opposition” jibe.

    Fuss over Mahtab as Pro tem Speaker

    – Cong's Jairam Ramesh targets NDA govt over picking Mahtab as Pro tem Speaker, calls move anti-Dalit
    – Nirmala Sitharaman counters attack, cites TN hooch tragedy where most victims were Dalits

    The session will start with the newly elected MPs being administered the oath of office on Monday and Tuesday by Bhartruhari Mahtab, the Pro tem Speaker.

    Just two days after Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju attacked the Congress for playing on the issue, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh again questioned the government on why Mahtab, a seven-term MP, was appointed while K Suresh, an eight-time Congress MP, was ignored.

    “K Suresh, who is in his 8th term, should have been the Pro tem Speaker. But Mahtab of the BJP has been appointed on flimsy grounds that he has greater claim because this is his 7th consecutive term. Going by this argument, why was Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi, a BJP MP who is also in his 7th consecutive term, not considered? Is it because he is a Dalit like Suresh?” asked Ramesh, seeking to attack the move as anti-Dalit.

    The BJP was quick to field Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to counter the anti-Dalit narrative. She took on the Congress, saying most of the victims in the Tamil Nadu hooch tragedy were Dalits and asking why Congress leaders were silent on the tragedy in the state ruled by their ally, the DMK. With the session's start set for showdowns, Mahtab will be administered the oath as Pro tem Speaker by the President on Monday, following which he will administer the oath to the panel of MPs appointed to assist him during the oath-taking of new MPs. These MPs include Congress' K Suresh and TMC's Sudip Bandopadhyay.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top ministers will take oath among other new MPs on the first two days. On June 26, the Lok Sabha Speaker will be elected, with Mahtab among the frontrunners.

    On June 27, the President will address both Houses of Parliament followed by a discussion on her address and a reply to this debate by PM Modi next week. The session will end on July 3.

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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