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    IndiaPM Narendra Modi praises Birla’s last term as ‘golden age’, Opposition flexes...

    PM Narendra Modi praises Birla’s last term as ‘golden age’, Opposition flexes numerical strength


    New Delhi: Profuse praises by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and constant appeals of impartiality by Opposition leaders marked the felicitations for newly elected Speaker Om Birla on Wednesday.

    Birla, having served as presiding officer of the 17th Lok Sabha, returned as Speaker of the 18th LS today, after he was elected by a voice vote.

    Leading greetings on behalf of the government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled the 17th Lok Sabha under Birla's presidency as the “golden age of parliamentary history when works, unaccomplished for decades, were finally completed.”

    “Historic decisions were taken in the 17th Lok Sabha under your watch and works that did not happen in 70 years of independence happened,” said the PM, referring to the passage of Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, JK Reorganisation Bill, new criminal laws, data protection Bill among other Bills.

    Hailing the 17th LS as the most productive in 25 years, the PM lauded the Speaker for his personal attention to the welfare of every MP at the height of Covid besides flagging record 167 per cent LS productivity in Covid times.

    “Most Speakers either did not contest or did not win elections but you are an exception. You have won again. You are also setting a new record. Balram Jakhar was the first Speaker to be re-elected. You are the second,” the PM said.

    He also took the occasion to compliment Birla for keeping “parliamentary dignity above personal anguish” when taking tough decisions to maintain the sanctity of democratic conventions.

    The veiled reference was to tough decisions including mass suspensions of nearly 150 Opposition MPs in a single day in the 17th LS.

    While the Prime Minister expressed hope that the new Lok Sabha would set more landmarks under Birla, the Opposition, while congratulating Birla, urged his indulgence and impartiality.

    Leaders also flexed their numerical strength after the 18th LS finally got a Leader of Opposition in Congress' Rahul Gandhi today.

    “This time, the Opposition is representing a significantly larger voice than the last time,” Gandhi said in his greetings for Birla while TMC's Sudip Bandopadhyay noted, “Since the Opposition now has a greater strength, our disregard should not be the attitude of the House.”

    NCP Sharadchandra Pawar leader Supriya Sule, in a rare admonition to colleagues, said they should use their time in Lok Sabha to advance interests.

    Though Sule lamented mass suspension of 150 MPs in December 2023, she also signalled friends to refrain from disruptions.

    “I have personally never been in the Well of the House. We are lucky to be here, let's spend more time to serve the nation better,” said Sule describing her father as the “original NCP founder.”

    Several Opposition leaders flagged MP suspensions urging the Speaker to accommodate their interests. “The House should run on your command and not vice versa,” said Opposition SP's Akhilesh Yadav.

    Another bloc leader, TR Baalu of the DMK used the lotus analogy to seek fairness from Birla.

    “You may have been elected on the lotus symbol but from now on, you must become detached as the lotus flower,” said Baalu.

    Historic decisions taken in 17th Lok Sabha

    Historic decisions were taken in the 17th Lok Sabha under your watch and works that did not happen in 70 years of independence happened. — Narendra Modi, PM

    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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