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Om Birla elected Lok Sabha Speaker for 2nd term

PM Modi, LoP Rahul Gandhi exchange smiles, handshakes
om birla elected lok sabha speaker for 2nd term

New Delhi, June 26: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, and Parliamentary Minister Kiren Rijiju escorted Om Birla to the Speaker’s chair, sparking a wave of smiles, applause, and positivity in the Lok Sabha.


Both PM Modi and Rahul shook hands with a smile as they proceeded escorting the speaker to the chair.


However, this rare moment of camaraderie was short-lived.


The newly-elected Speaker’s mention of the “dark days of Emergency” and his call for a two-minute silence quickly ended the brief harmony, leading to a return of chaos in the House.


In the first session of the Lower House following his election as Lok Sabha Speaker, Birla’s reference to the Emergency led to a significant confrontation between the government and the Opposition.


“This House strongly condemns the decision to impose Emergency in 1975. We appreciate the determination of all those who opposed the Emergency, fought, and fulfilled the responsibility of protecting India’s democracy,” Birla declared amid loud protests from Opposition parties.


On June 26, a resolution was read out condemning the imposition of the Emergency and labelling the decision by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as an attack on the Constitution.


This sparked a wave of protests from the Opposition in the House.

PM Modi commended the Lok Sabha Speaker for his strong condemnation of the Emergency and the excesses committed during that period.

In a post on X, the PM wrote: “I am glad that the Honourable Speaker strongly condemned the Emergency, highlighted the excesses committed during that time, and also mentioned the manner in which democracy was strangled. It was also a wonderful gesture to stand in silence in honour of all those who suffered during those days. The Emergency was imposed 50 years ago, but it is important for today's youth to know about it because it remains a fitting example of what happens when the Constitution is trampled over, public opinion is stifled, and institutions are destroyed. The happenings during the Emergency exemplified what a dictatorship looks like.”

PM Modi also congratulated Birla on his re-election as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, expressing confidence that the House would greatly benefit from his insights and experience.

He wrote on X: "I would like to congratulate Om Birla on being elected as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha for the second time. The House will benefit greatly from his insights and experience. My best wishes to him for the tenure ahead."

Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi also extended his congratulations to Birla on his re-election.

Gandhi expressed hope that the Opposition would be allowed to raise the voice of the people in the House.

He emphasised the importance of cooperation built on trust and said: “I’d like to congratulate you for your successful election... I congratulate you on behalf of the entire INDIA alliance. This House represents the voice of the people of India. Of course, the government has political power, but the opposition also represents the voice of India’s people.”

Gandhi said that the Opposition wanted the House to function “often and well” and that it was crucial for the voice of the Opposition to be represented.

He stressed the importance of allowing the Opposition to speak and represent the people’s voice, highlighting that the recent election showed that the people of India expect the Opposition to defend the Constitution.

He said: “The idea that you can run the House efficiently by silencing the voice of the Opposition is non-democratic. This election has shown that the people of India expect the Opposition to defend the Constitution of this country, and we are confident that by allowing the Opposition to speak, you will do your duty of defending the Constitution of India.”