18th Lok Sabha: Kodikunnil refuses to assist Protem Speaker, Edu Min takes oath amid 'NEET' slogans

Photo: Manorama

New Delhi: The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha kickstarted on Monday at 11am amid protesting slogans by the Opposition. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is the leader of the Lok Sabha, was the first to take oath. Swearing-in ceremony of ministers and members of Parliament followed. The newly elected MPs of the INDIA bloc held protests in the Parliament complex ahead of the oath taking ceremony. They marched to the Lok Sabha together on the first day raising slogans of "save Constitution".

None of the three Opposition leaders who are members of the panel assisting Protem Speaker Bhartruhari Mahtab—TR Balu from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Kodikunnil Suresh from the Congress, and Sudip Bandopadhyay from the Trinamool Congress—showed up for duties in protest against the Protem Speaker's appointment. Violating the norm of choosing the senior-most member as Protem Speaker, seven-time BJP MP Mahtab was chosen for the post over eight-time Congress MP Kodikunnil Suresh.

President Droupadi Murmu on Monday administered oath to BJP member B Mahtab as 'speaker protem' of the newly-constituted 18th Lok Sabha. A seven-time MP, Mahtab, along with a panel of chairpersons is tasked with running the proceedings of the Lok Sabha on Monday and Tuesday when winning candidates will take oath as members of the 18th Lok Sabha. 

Meanwhile, the Opposition shouted slogans of 'NEET' while Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan took oath.
The Congress on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has nothing new to offer and as usual resorted to "diversion" in his remarks ahead of the start of the 18th Lok Sabha. 

"The non-biological PM who suffered a resounding personal, political, and moral defeat in the Lok Sabha elections has just given his usual 'desh ke naam sandesh' outside the Parliament as the 18th Lok Sabha prepares to commence its tenure," Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said.

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