Rahul's debut as LoP stirs up Lok Sabha as '400 paar' Labour Party storms to power in UK after 14 years

Last Updated : 06 July 2024, 06:01 IST

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Hello readers,

What a week it’s been. After the rollercoaster of elections, which threw up a handful of surprises for the country, the largest temple of democracy in the globe is now witnessing 'unprecedented' scenes of Opposition being heard! Oh, wait -wasn't that supposed to be the case always? Yes, in an ideal world, if that exists. But for the last decade or so, we literally had no Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and even those in government poked fun at this. So this time, when both the Houses of Parliament convened, people 'welcomed' this rare sighting with glee. We have this and more in this week's DH Political Theatre. Let's dive into all that happened in the political sphere - sans Rahul's expunged Lok Sabha speech. Welcome and relish the spread!

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'Tumse na ho paayega', Rahul

In a scene reminiscent of soap operas, Rahul Gandhi, the newly elected the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, delivered his maiden speech on July 1, greeted with raucous cheers from the I.N.D.I.A. bloc leaders. The Congress leader was making his contribution to the Motion of Thanks on the President's address to a joint sitting of Parliament.

With all the flair of a seasoned orator and clutching pictures of Lord Shiva, Guru Nanak, and Jesus Christ, he launched into a fiery critique of the BJP, accusing them of spreading fear and hatred.

As the country tuned in to witness the 'rise' of the Opposition – a spectacle that has been missing from the Lower House for far too long, the maiden speech of Rahul Gandhi was like a piece of new hit music to the ears of Opposition parties' supporters as it touched on every hot-button issue from NEET controversy to the Agnipath scheme, to the not-so-invincible infrastructure of falling bridges and collapsing airport roofs. Even industrial heavyweights Adani and Ambani found themselves in the crosshairs.

But no great drama is complete without a twist. As Rahul’s verbal volleys landed, some of his more pointed remarks were promptly expunged by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla from the records. Alas, we may not be able to savour the juicy details –thanks to the Speaker's orders – but Rahul’s commentary on minorities, the NEET row, and the Agnipath scheme were effectively banished from the parliamentary annals, to which Rahul Gandhi in his signature style, quipped: "In Modi ji's world, the truth can be expunged. But in reality, the truth can't be expunged."

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'Modi hai to mumkin hai'

Responding to the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address, Modi launched into a full-blown roast session of Congress, calling them a 'parasite' while the Opposition chants of "Justice for Manipur" provided the perfect background score. Modi didn’t spare a chance to mock Rahul Gandhi, labelling him as having 'Balak buddhi'.

He didn’t just stop at that. Modi took a swipe at Congress' 'glorious days of rampant corruption' and 'policy paralysis'. The Prime Minister's monologue had all the real-world issues sprinkled in for dramatic effect – corruption, inefficiency, and a miraculous rise to prosperity under his watch.

Meanwhile, in the Rajya Sabha, the scene was equally entertaining. The Opposition, led by the ever-enthusiastic Mallikarjun Kharge, was determined to steal the spotlight. Monday's episode featured a heated exchange between Vice President Dhankhar and Kharge over the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), complete with the Chair’s 'khata khat' expunging of statements – like a TV talent show judge hitting the buzzer.

As Modi touched on every hot-button issue from NEET to Agniveer, the Opposition played their final card: the dramatic walkout. On Wednesday, July 3, during the Prime Minister’s address, they stormed out, protesting the refusal to let Kharge speak, despite his repeated pleas. Modi hai to humkin hai indeed, because only in Indian politics can parliamentary sessions double as high-octane entertainment.

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Hemant Soren returns

In Jharkhand, the political stage welcomed back another son of the soil. Fresh out of jail, Hemant Soren swooped back into power faster than you can say “political drama”.

Taking back the reins from the “accidental CM” Champai Soren and swiftly being sworn in as the 13th Chief Minister of Jharkhand, this marks his third inning as the state’s head honcho. This man surely epitomizes the adage, “third time’s the charm”.

Hemant Soren left the precincts of jail on June 28 after nearly five months of being one of Jharkhand's high-profile guests in state hospitality. Hemant is now not just the CM but also the face of the I.N.D.I.A. bloc in the upcoming assembly polls, ready to lead his party into another election showdown later this year.

Meanwhile, in Delhi, CM Arvind Kejriwal remains behind bars with no respite from the courts.

Reimagining 'crime and punishment' – desi criminal laws make ground!

Amidst the ongoing commotion between the ruling dispensation and the Opposition, the week also saw the new criminal laws coming into effect from July 1. The introduction of criminal laws, namely the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA) marks a significant shift from the colonial-era Indian Penal Code (IPC), Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), and the Evidence Act—to the new framework in India's criminal justice system, seeking alignment with contemporary values and societal needs.

While several leaders continue to raise concerns about certain Sections, implementation challenges, and readiness of the Indian justice system, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who piloted the laws, weighed in to allay their fears stating that the primary focus of these laws is to provide justice, contrasting with the old laws that prioritised penal action.

The irony of Fate - Under which law will the Hathras stampede accused be tried?

The stampede at a religious congregation at Phulrai village in Hathras district in Uttar Pradesh, on July 2 killed 121 persons and left scores injured. This tragic event, one of the worst in recent times, the 'Satsang' of preacher Surajpal alias Narayan Sakar Hari alias Bhole Baba, allegedly violated many laws and rules. Authorities are currently probing the incident and conducting extensive searches across the state and neighbouring Rajasthan and Haryana to apprehend the accused.

Key accused in the tragedy, Dev Prakash Madhukar, who was the 'chief sevadar' of Bhole Baba and carried a cash reward of Rs one lakh, surrendered before the Delhi police late on Friday night.

Of mending trusts and collapsing bridges 

After the ‘tall’ leaders of Bihar politics burnt their bridges during the election over various issues, the physical bridges in Bihar are taking turns to collapse. 10 bridges have collapsed in Siwan, Saran, Madhubani, Araria, East Champaran, and Kishanganj districts in the past couple of weeks.

A PIL filed in the Supreme Court seeks directions for the Bihar government to undertake structural audits and establish an expert committee to identify and address weak bridges, either by strengthening or demolishing them.

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Elsewhere, around the globe!

Time for Rishi Sunak to walk away from Downing Street

In a plot twist straight out of House of Cards, Keir Starmer on Friday became Britain's new prime minister after the Labour Party achieved a landslide victory in a landmark UK general election. Rishi Sunak's Conservative Party suffered its worst election defeat in history. Starmer's party, which secured over 410 seats in the UK Parliament, pledged to use its massive electoral majority to rebuild the country.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Credit: Reuters Photo</p></div>

Credit: Reuters Photo

Catch 22: The Biden situation is a dilemma for Democrats

After the US President's worrying debate performances, the clamour for him to step down from the Presidential race is growing within the Democratic Party. However, Biden and his campaign team, determined to go for a second term, assured everyone that he is fit and running.

And, with that we come to the end of it! We’ll be back soon with more headlines next week. Until then, goodbye and take care!

Exit Stage Left

DH Newsletters Team

Published 06 July 2024, 06:01 IST

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