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Sonia and Rahul Gandhi lead INDIA bloc protest ahead of 18th Lok Sabha’s first session

Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi along with INDIA bloc leaders staged a protest in front of the Gandhi statue in Parliament holding copies of the Constitution.

The protest was sparked by controversy surrounding the appointment of BJP MP Bhartruhari Mahtab as the pro-tem speaker. Congress MP Manickam Tagore criticized the NDA government for bypassing eight-term Dalit MP K Suresh for the role. Tagore questioned the decision, suggesting it was an intentional neglect of a qualified candidate from the Dalit community.

Supporting this sentiment, Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi expressed disappointment in the ruling party, accusing them of arrogance and neglecting critical issues affecting the country. He emphasized the missed opportunity for a historic moment that could have honored the Dalit community by appointing K Suresh as the pro-tem speaker. Gogoi argued that this decision undermined not only the Congress and INDIA alliance but also the Dalit community at large.

Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee also joined the protest, asserting that the appointment of Mahtab violated Constitutional provisions and previous precedents. Banerjee accused the Narendra Modi government of disregarding the Constitution in their decision-making process.

Despite the protests, seven-time MP Bhartruhari Mahtab was sworn in as the pro-tem speaker of the 18th Lok Sabha on Monday, with President Droupadi Murmu administering the oath at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The upcoming schedule includes the election of the Lok Sabha Speaker on June 26, followed by President Murmu’s address to a joint session of both houses of Parliament on June 27.

This session marks the beginning of the 18th Lok Sabha following the recent general elections, where the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) secured 293 seats, the INDIA bloc won 234 seats, and the Congress achieved 99 seats.

(inputs from ANI)

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Last Updated: 21st Jul 2024