With the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha starting from Monday, the opposition INDIA bloc is gearing up to corner the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre on various issues, including the ongoing row over the examinations.

Lok Sabha Sessions

– From June 24, the oath taking of newly elected members will take place.

– On June 26, the election of the Lok Sabha Speaker will be held.

– On June 27, President Droupadi Murmu will address a joint sitting of both the Houses.

– On June 28, the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address will starte

– On July 2 or 3, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to respond to the debate.

Row over exam cancellation, paper leaks

The Opposition INDIA bloc has already announced that they are going to aggressively raise the issue of paper-leak and cancellation of examinations in the Parliament.

The government, which is already facing criticism over the issues of NEET-UG results and UCG-NET exam cancellation, is now facing backlash for cancelling the NEET-PG examination less than 12 hours before the scheduled exam.

In a span of 10 days, several allegations have been levelled over NEET-UG results after 67 students scored a perfect 720 marks. Later, the UGC-NET exam was cancelled soon after the candidates appeared for the exam. Following that, the Joint-CSIR-UGC NET exam was postponed and on June 22, the Health Ministry also announced the postponement of the NEET PG examination.

“This is another unfortunate example of the ruined education system under the rule of Narendra Modi. In BJP rule, students are not forced to ‘study’ to make their career but are forced to ‘fight’ with the government to save their future,” said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday, after the Health Ministry announced the postponement of the NEET-PG exam.

What Congress chief said

Stating that for students to get justice, the Modi government must be held accountable, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge has hinted that they are likely to take up the issue aggressively.

“Paper leaks, corruption, irregularities and the education mafia have infiltrated our education system,” said Kharge.

Face-off over pro-tem speaker post

Another issue that is likely to witness a fierce debate is the appointment of a pro-tem speaker.

The President has appointed Bhartruhari Mahtab, the seven-term member, as the Pro-tem Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

However, the Congress party has accused the government of violating the procedures and conventions by not appointing Suresh as post of pro-tem Speaker who is eight-term member.

The pro-tem speaker is tasked with administering the oath and affirmation to the newly-elected members of the Lok Sabha. He also presides over the election of the Speaker.

According to reports – K Suresh (Congress), T R Baalu (DMK), Sudip Bandyopadhyay (TMC) – whom the president has appointed to assist Mahtab, are unlikely to join the panel.

However, the BJP has accused the Congress of trying to disturb the process.

Train accident

With Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw reaching the accident site, riding a pillion on a motorcycle led to a political slugfest with the Opposition asking whether he is a rail minister or a “reel minister”.

On June 17, 10 people died after Kanchanjunga Express was hit by a goods train near New Jalpaiguri.

The oppostion also demanded Vaishnaw’s resignation and accused the government of “destroying” Indian Railways.

The party also questioned the Prime Minister as to who should be held accountable and said that whenever there is a train accident, the Modi government’s railway minister reaches the spot under the glare of cameras and behaves as if everything is fine.

Just a day ahead of the session, Congress also posted a graphic image of railway tracks saying ‘what we need’ and ‘what we get’, with a caption Railway Minister vs ‘Reel’ Minister.

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Published: 23 Jun 2024, 05:27 PM IST