NEW DELHI:New Delhi: The first parliamentary session of the newly elected National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is expected to be heated with a stronger Opposition that’s already begun to mark its presence.

The Congress party, with 99 members in the Lok Sabha, has alleged a stock market scam related to the exit poll following the just-concluded national election as well as irregularities in the NEET entrance exam to medical colleges, indicating a fiery session.

The newly formed government is also likely to face heat over issues such as violence in Manipur, unemployment, and inflation during the special session of the 18th Lok Sabha, which will commence on 24 June and conclude on 3 July.

Overall, the Opposition has around 230 members in the 543-seat lower house of Parliament.

Political observers expect that the Opposition will also look to corner the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance over the arrests of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s Hemant Soren and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal ahead of the Lok Sabha election. 

Soren was the chief minister of Jharkhand and Kejriwal of Delhi.

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“Instances of mass suspension of Opposition MPs may not occur as they are now in a stronger position,” a political expert said on condition of anonymity. “Previously, when the BJP had 303 seats and the Congress had just 52, there were instances of mass suspensions of Opposition members. Now, the BJP has 240 seats, and the Congress has 99.”

Session’s agenda

The agenda for the first Lok Sabha session of the new government will include the swearing-in of newly elected members of Parliament, the election of the Speaker, and the customary address by President Droupadi Murmu to Parliament, the parliamentary affairs ministry said in a statement.

The presidential address is expected to recount the achievements of the previous government, also administered by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA, and articulate a vision for the next five years. The debate on the address, however, is likely to see the Opposition aggressively take on the government.

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“The role of the Opposition and government is different, but the goal is to work in the national interest,” Union minister of parliamentary affairs, Kiren Rijiju, said in a social media post on Wednesday. “I hope that in the coming session, everyone will have a constructive approach to ensure smooth and vibrant functioning of Parliament.

The new Lok Sabha may also see the return of Trinamool Congress’s Mohua Moitra, who was expelled from the 17th Lok Sabha for sharing her login credentials with the office of businessman Darshan Hiranandani to post questions.

Split session

The first Lok Sabha session of the new government could be held in two parts, said a senior official in the Parliament secretariat.

“In the first part, the oath-taking ceremony and the President’s address will take place. The second part, likely to resume after a break of about 15 days, will involve the presentation of the Budget,” the official said, adding that the final agenda will be released shortly.

“The government will have to prorogue the special session to start a new one, which appears unlikely. Therefore, this session will be named the monsoon session,” the official said.

The 264th session of Rajya Sabha will commence on 27 June and conclude on 3 July.

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Published: 12 Jun 2024, 03:41 PM IST

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