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No pretence of bonhomie, session kicks off amid hostility | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: The divide between the treasury and the opposition benches in the 18th Lok Sabha went beyond seat-arrangements to appear like battlelines drawn on the first day of the new House.INDIA bloc kicked off the day with a protest in the Parliament complex. Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, K C Venugopal, and Trinamool MPs like Mahua Moitra, DMK’s Kanimozhi and T R Baalu, N K Premachandran, Rajkumar Roat and others, held up red-covered copies of the Constitution and led rounds of lusty sloganeering.Rahul said, “We will protect the Constitution from attacks by PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. Our message is going deep.” As part of a plan, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav with this troupe of 37 MPs walked into Parliament, all with a copy of the Constitution. It was in Hindi, with white covers.Screenshot 2024-06-25 023614Modi entered the house at 10.57am, to the now familiar chants of “Modi, Modi” and loud applause. And when at 11.07am, he took the podium to say “main Narendra Damodardas Modi” for oath, Rahul Gandhi, K Suresh, K C Venugopal, Gaurav Gogoi, Deepender Hooda, Supriya Sule, Dimple Yadav raised copies of the Constitution – the same was done to Amit Shah. It appeared bitter, a spillover of the no-holds-barred campaign that ended days ago. Suresh, ignored for pro tem Speaker, would be recorded in history as the first protester in the 18th House, rising within minutes of convening to ask that his name be dropped from the panel to assist pro tem Speaker Bhartruhari Mahtab. His shouts were ignored, which led to even louder shouts.The Prime Minister, on his part, did not make any pretence of bonhomie. He took the oath, and took his seat. Given a go by was decades-old custom of a round of the opposition benches with folded hands and pleasantries. Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah, took his cue. Gaurav Gogoi and Kalyan Banerjee pointed out “the old conventions are being broken”. But there were no takers for feel-good. Gogoi, when his turn came, took oath from the podium on the treasury side, and even shook a few hands.The seating appeared to betray the tension. Bang opposite PM Modi, across the aisle, was his implacable critic Rahul Gandhi. There has been no announcement yet on the leader of opposition, but Rahul led the show in the absence of Sonia Gandhi, who has moved over to the House of the Elders. Not clear from afar was if they glanced at each other.

One of the heroes of the Battle 2024, Akhilesh Yadav appeared to rub it in. He sat sporting his trademark red cap with an easy smile plastered on his face, but gave primacy to Awadhesh Prasad, the veteran and Dalit who arguably gave BJP the sorest wound by winning the Ayodhya (Faizabad) constituency. The red caps appeared like red rags to the ruling camp.It continued in that tone. Education minister Dharmendra Pradhan was taunted with cries of “NEET, NEET”, Girijraj Singh was told by Trinamool Congress’s Kalyan Banerjee that “your comments increased Trinamool’s tally”. Rahul let out guffaws as the voluble Banerjee told Prahlad Joshi “we will miss you as parliamentary affairs minister”. The day was for left-handed barbs.

Rahul Vs Modi Encounter; Cong MP’s Action During PM’s Oath Goes Viral | Watch

Not long ago, Day 1 used to be a solemn occasion of bipartisanship, littered with light moments and comments, fist bumping and reminiscing. This time, there were few handshakes. And if it was an indication of the term to follow, many found it foreboding.


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