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First Day, First Show | PM’s Emergency dig stirs Opposition

Faces NEET uproar
05:49 AM Jun 25, 2024 IST | ANI
first day  first show   pm’s emergency dig stirs opposition
New Delhi, Jun 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Kiren Rijiju and others during the First Session of the 18th Lok Sabha, at the new Parliament building, in New Delhi on Monday. PM Modi and the ministers will take oath as the MP of the Lok Sabha. ANI

New Delhi, June 24: The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha began Monday with several prominent leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, taking oaths as Members of Parliament. Union Ministers G Kishan Reddy, Chirag Paswan, Kiren Rijiju, Nitin Gadkari, and Mansukh Mandaviya also took oaths as members of the Lok Sabha.


Union Ministers Bhupender Yadav, Giriraj Singh, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, JD(U) MP Rajiv Ranjan (Lalan) Singh, BJP MP Piyush Goyal, and Union Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also took oaths as members.


Before the beginning of the first session of Lok Sabha, BJP MP Bhartruhari Mahtab was sworn in as the pro-tem Speaker of the 18th Lok Sabha. The oath was administered by President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan.


The Lok Sabha Speaker will be elected on June 26. On June 27, President Murmu is scheduled to address a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament.


The opposition MPs of the INDIA bloc, meanwhile, reacted sharply to the appointment of the seven-time MP as the pro-tem speaker saying that the appointment deviates from the traditional practice of appointing the senior most member.


Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and other INDIA bloc leaders staged a protest in front of the Gandhi statue in Parliament holding copies of the Constitution as a sign of their protest against the appointment of Mahtab as the pro-tem speaker.


Speaking to ANI, Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi said, “The ruling party hasn't forgotten their haughtiness. We can see that they are ignoring the key issues of the country. The whole Dalit community in India could witness a historic scene if K Suresh were appointed as Pro-tem Speaker. Today, BJP has not just neglected Congress, INDIA bloc and K Suresh but the entire Dalit community."


Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee who also joined the protest said, "We are protesting because the provisions of the Constitution have been violated. The Constitution has been violated by the Narendra Modi government. The way the pro-tem speaker has been appointed is a violation of the Constitutional provision and clear violation of the earlier precedence."

Along with this, the ongoing issue of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance (NEET)-UG exams dominated the first day of the Parliament session.

As Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan was taking oath as a member of the Parliament, the opposition MPs demonstrated their anger over the alleged irregularities in the NEET exams.

The House witnessed the slogans of 'NEET' being raised on the first day.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav attacked the ruling BJP over the NEET-UG row.

He claimed that the BJP "gets exam papers leaked" to "please" its people.

Speaking to reporters here in the national capital, Yadav said, "This is nothing new. This is an old way of the BJP. If you see history, the BJP gets exam papers leaked to please its people. This was a huge issue in UP and now it has reached Delhi. They have cheated crores of people".

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also targeted the central government and listed 10 issues that took place during the first 15 days of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.

The issues listed by Rahul Gandhi included alleged NEET irregularities, a UGC NET paper leak, a train accident, a water crisis, and more.

Rahul Gandhi in a post on X, alleged that PM Modi is busy in saving his government and said, "First 15 days of NDA! 1. Horrific train accident; 2. Terrorist attacks in Kashmir 3. The plight of passengers in trains 4. NEET scam; 5. NEET PG cancelled 6. UGC NET paper leak 7. Milk, pulses, gas, tolls and expensive 8. Forests blazing with fire; 9. Water crisis; 10. Deaths due to lack of arrangements during the heat wave."

"Psychologically on the back foot, Narendra Modi is busy saving his government," the Raebareli MP added.

He further said that "INDIA's strong opposition" will continue to raise the voice of the people, and not allow the Prime Minister to escape without accountability.

Congress National President Mallikarjun Kharge also came down heavily upon the centre amid the ongoing row.

He took to social media platform X to target the PM for not mentioning issues like the alleged irregularities in the NEET exam, Manipur violence and the West Bengal train accident while addressing reporters outside the new Parliament building before taking oath as a Lok Sabha MP.

The Congress national president Kharge said PM had used "customary words" more than necessary, while the country was expecting his words on relevant issues.

Kharge said the "arrogance" remains despite a defeat.

Listing the issues in detail in a post on X Kharge wrote, "He will show some sympathy towards youth regarding paper leak in NEET and other entrance exams, but he will not take any responsibility for the rigging and corruption of his government.

"Modi ji also remained silent about the recent train accident in West Bengal. Manipur has been in the grip of violence for the last 13 months, but Modiji neither went there nor did he express any concern about the recent violence in his speech today," said Kharge.

The nation is witnessing widespread protests over the alleged irregularities in the conduct of the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance-Test (NEET) (UG) Examination 2024 by the NTA. The opposition is demanding to scrap the testing agency.

An unprecedented 67 candidates achieved a perfect score of 720 marks out of 720, which added to the concerns.

Meanwhile, Union Minister and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) Chief Chirag Paswan backed the government over the NEET row stating that the latter has "nothing to hide".

The Union Minister further said that the culprits will not be spared.

"The government has nothing to hide. The government has taken this issue very seriously. Investigation agencies are conducting investigations. For the welfare of students, the decision will be taken shortly. The culprits will not be spared," Paswan told ANI.

The Prime Minister, before the commencement of the session, addressed the media. He congratulated all the newly elected members and said that the new government will always strive to take everyone along and build consensus to serve the country.

"Today is a proud day in parliamentary democracy; it is a day of glory. For the first time since independence, this oath ceremony is taking place in our new Parliament. Till now, this process used to take place in the old house. On this important day, I heartily welcome all the newly elected MPs, congratulate them all, and wish them all the best," PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister thanked the people of the country for their support and for giving him a mandate to lead the country for a third consecutive time."

This formation of Parliament is to fulfil the resolutions of the common man of India. This is an opportunity to achieve new speed and new heights with new zeal and enthusiasm. The 18th Lok Sabha is starting today to build a developed India by 2047," he said.

"It is a matter of pride for every Indian that the world's biggest election was conducted in such a grand and glorious manner. More than 65 crore voters took part in the voting. If the citizens of our country have trusted a government for the third consecutive time, it means they have given their stamp of approval to the policies and intent of the government. I am grateful to each of you for your support and trust," PM Modi added.

He also took an indirect dig at the Congress party ahead of the 50th anniversary of the "Emergency" that was imposed in the country under Indira Gandhi's rule in 1975.

Terming it a "blot on democracy", he said, "Tomorrow is 25th June. 25 June marks 50 years of the blot that was put on the democracy of India. The new generation of India will never forget that the Constitution of India was completely rejected, every part of the Constitution was torn to pieces, the country was turned into a prison, and democracy was completely suppressed," he said.

"While protecting our Constitution, while protecting the democracy of India and the democratic traditions, the countrymen will take a resolution that no one will dare to do such a thing in India again, which was done 50 years ago. We will take a resolution of a vibrant democracy. We will take a resolution to fulfil the dreams of the common people as per the directions of the Constitution of India," PM Modi said.

This is followed by fierce reactions from the Congress leaders.

Congress national president Kharge singled out the centre, questioning how long they want to rule by talking about the Emergency.

"He will say this 100 times. Without declaring an emergency, you are doing this. How long do you want to rule by talking about this?" said Kharge.

"Modi Ji tried to break the Constitution, that's why today leaders of all parties have come together and are protesting. There was a Gandhi statue here. They are breaking all democratic norms, That's why today we want to show that Modi Ji, you should move ahead according to the Constitution," he added.

Criticising PM Modi over the 'emergency' remark, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh took to social media platform X and wrote, "The non-biological PM is telling the opposition: substance, not slogans. INDIA is telling him: consensus, not confrontation. The non-biological PM is telling the opposition: discussion, not disruption. INDIA is telling him: Attendance, not absence."