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Lok Sabha session: Opposition marks electoral resurgence with 'Constitution march' to Parliament

While some Congress MPs, including those from Assam and Kerala, took oath carrying a copy of Constitution, they also chanted 'NEET, NEET' when beleaguered Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan took oath.
Last Updated : 24 June 2024, 15:53 IST

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New Delhi: The Opposition I.N.D.I.A. bloc on Monday made a statement of their electoral resurgence in Parliament with a march to Lok Sabha with the Constitution in hand and top Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and other Opposition MPs waving the Constitution when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah were taking oath.

While some Congress MPs, including those from Assam and Kerala, took oath carrying a copy of Constitution, they also chanted 'NEET, NEET' when beleaguered Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan took oath amid a couple of exams being cancelled over suspicion of paper leak.

For the Opposition, the day started with the march to Lok Sabha from the location where Mahatma Gandhi's statue was moved.

MPs were carrying a copy of the Constitution with some MPs carrying copies in Hindi and Bengali. The Gandhi Statue, which was the popular protest site for MPs in Parliament, was relocated along with 14 other statues to a new spot 'Prerna Sthal'.

Later, Kharge and Sonia also were seen with Samajwadi Party MPs walking separately to the Lok Sabha with copies of the Constitution.

Top Opposition leaders like Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, who are Rajya Sabha MPs, joined the march of the Lok Sabha MPs with the latter saying "today the Constitution will speak."

Inside Lok Sabha, Rahul waved Constitution to Modi as he took oath. Several other MPs also joined him and this repeated when Shah took oath. Interestingly, Rahul, who has never occupied the front row of Lok Sabha, was sitting in the front row of the Opposition benches with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Faizabad MP Awadhesh Prasad and Trinamool Congress' Kalyan Banerjee.

"We would not allow the attack on the Constitution that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are doing. This attack is not acceptable to us," Rahul told reporters later.

Congress member Kodikunnil Suresh, DMK's T R Baalu and Trinamool Congress' Sudip Bandyopadhyay walked out of the House when the oath-taking began as a mark of protest over the appointment of Mahtab instead of Suresh as Protem Speaker.

As the trio left the House, BJP Radha Mohan Singh and Faggan Singh Kulaste, who were the two other members in the panel to assist Mahtab along with the three Opposition MPs, were sworn in after Modi amid chanting of the slogan "violation of Constitution".

The Opposition, particularly the Congress, is bracing for a challenge from the BJP on Tuesday, the anniversary of 1975 Emergency, to attack the Congress. It is also to be seen how the BJP will react when Rahul takes oath on Tuesday evening.

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Published 24 June 2024, 15:53 IST

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