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Changed numbers dictate changed dynamics in the 18th Lok Sabha

On the first day, as many as 280 MPs, including 58 ministers took oath, after pro-tem Speaker Bhatruhari Mahtab was sworn in by President Droupadi Murmu.
Last Updated : 24 June 2024, 16:17 IST

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New Delhi: Changed numbers dictated changed dynamics in the House as the Special Session of the 18th Lok Sabha convened on Monday.

On the first day, as many as 280 MPs, including 58 ministers took oath, after pro-tem Speaker Bhatruhari Mahtab was sworn in by President Droupadi Murmu. 

The Opposition made its presence felt with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi showing a copy of the Constitution to PM Narendra Modi when he was being sworn in, and union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan faced shouts of “NEET” when he was taking oath. 

As the House convened, Mahtab, too, faced chants from the Opposition members, following which the National Anthem was played.

“We are meeting today, on the first sitting of the Lok Sabha, which is a solemn occasion. A new Lok Sabha vested with great and honorous responsibilities for ensuring the welfare of the entire country and our people. The House has been elected under the Constitution,” Mahtab said, asking members to observe a few minutes of silence about the commencement of the House.

Mahtab soon read out the names of the panel who were to assist him as pro-tem Speaker – Kodikunnil Suresh, TR Baalu, Radha Mohan Singh, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Sudip Bandopadhyay. This led to angry chants from the Opposition, which has criticised the BJP for overlooking Suresh, who has eight terms. Mahtab soon read out the Speaker’s acceptance of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s resignation from the Wayanad seat in Kerala. 

The first to take oath was prime minister Narendra Modi, as the leader of the House, followed by defence minister Rajnath Singh, home minister Amit Shah, roads minister Nitin Gadkari, agriculture minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, power minister Manohar Lal Khattar, steels and heavy industries minister HD Kumaraswamy, commerce minister Piyush Goyal and then Pradhan.  

While the front row of the treasure benches remained the same, with PM Modi, Singh, Shah and Gadkari occupying it, in the Opposition benches, change was palpable. Rahul Gandhi moved from the second row to the front to occupy his mother Sonia Gandhi’s seat, while Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav took the stop which was usually taken up by his father, Mulayam Singh. DMK’s A Raja, too, sat with them till Gandhi left the House by 12pm. 

KC Venugopal, Deepender Hooda joined Gaurag Gogoi in the second row that Gandhi had sat on in the last Lok Sabha. Among the NDA, the front seats in the different row had Shivraj Singh, ML Khattar, Gajender Sekhawat, Virendra Kumar, HD Kumaraswamy and Chirag Paswan. 


Several BJP members took oath in Sanskrit, including Shripad Yesso Naik and Dilip Saikia, while other MPs took oath in a variety of languages – Assamese, Dongri, Odia, Bodo, Marathi, Bengali, etc, besides Hindi and English. Several new faces, too, occupied the seats including BJP’s Bansuri Swaraj, Congress’s Rakibul Husain and RJD’s Misa Bharti. 

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Published 24 June 2024, 16:17 IST

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