• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

India’s energised Opposition raise voice as Modi & team take charge

The Indian PM made a remark over the anniversary of the infamous Emergency of 1975 ahead of the inaugural session of the new Lok Sabha, to which the Opposition said the nation wants him to speak on controversies such as those related to the NEET exam.

Members of India’s newly elected Lok Sabha or Lower House of parliament stand for the national anthem on the inaugural session of the House at the new Parliament building, in New Delhi on Monday, June 24, 2024. (ANI Photo/SansadTV)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE Opposition geared up to challenge the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by prime minister Narendra Modi on Monday (24), when the inaugural session of the newly elected Lok Sabha or Lower House of the Indian parliament took place, over several fronts.

It was also on the same day that Modi was sworn in as a member of parliament for the third consecutive time besides newly elected MPs who are part of the council of ministers.

The Opposition would be more energized in the new or the 18th Lok Sabha after they gathered more numbers in the general elections that concluded earlier this month. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party failed to win a majority on its own in this election and was helped by ally partners in the NDA to cross the majority mark.

Read: Modi visits Kashmir, first time since general elections

One of the major issues that the Opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) have taken up to target the Modi government is the alleged irregularities in the NEET-UG and NET examinations that have snowballed into protests across the country. Other issues were related to the relocation of statues within the parliament building complex and the government’s appointing seven-term MP Bhartruhari Mahtab, who joined the BJP earlier this year, as the pro tem speaker.

Read: Rahul Gandhi slams Modi over NEET exam fiasco: ‘As usual, maintaining silence’

Mahtab was sworn in by Indian president Droupadi Murmu at the beginning of the session. He then called upon Modi to take oath as an MP, followed by the newly elected members of the House.

The ministers, including the PM, took oath in different languages such as Hindi, Odiya, Bengali, Dogri and even Sanskrit to underscore the country’s linguistic diversity.

The onset of the special session witnessed a show of strength by the INDIA bloc the members of which marched from the parliament complex to the new building with several leaders holding a copy of the Indian Constitution.

The first two days of the session will see the swearing-in of MPs while the election for the speaker will be held on June 26.

The opposition INDIA alliance ended up with 232 seats as against the NDA’s 293 with the Indian National Congress emerging as its top party with 99 seats.

Opposition slam Modi’s Emergency remark

Addressing the media before the House met for its first session, Modi said Tuesday (25) would mark the 50th anniversary of the Emergency that the government of former prime minister Indira Gandhi and called it a “black spot” on the nation’s democracy.

“Tomorrow marks 50 years of the black spot on Indian democracy. The new generation will not forget how the Indian Constitution was scrapped, how the country was turned into a jail and democracy was captured. In this 50th anniversary, the country will take a pledge that never again will it happen,” he said.

The Emergency was imposed on June 25, 1975, and it continued till March 21, 1977. Gandhi was voted out of power in the next election that India went to.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge hit back at the prime minister’s remarks saying while Modi was speaking about decades-old Emergency, the country was expecting him to speak about protests over the NEET exam fiasco; the recent train accident in the eastern state of West Bengal and the continuing violence in the north-eastern state of Manipur.

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