New look, new mood on first day of 16th LS, Rahul takes back seat

Venkaiah Naidu told the media later that no inferences needed to be drawn from the way the members occupied the seats on Wednesday.

By: Press Trust of India Written by Pradeep R Kaushal | New Delhi | Updated: June 4, 2014 9:47 pm
The first day of 16th Lok Sabha proceedings got off to a sombre start as newly-elected MPs paid tribute to Minister Gopinath Munde, who died in a road accident on Tuesday. ( Source: PTI ) The first day of 16th Lok Sabha proceedings got off to a sombre start as newly-elected MPs paid tribute to Minister Gopinath Munde, who died in a road accident on Tuesday. ( Source: PTI )

The 16th Lok Sabha assembled for the first time on Wednesday, presenting a new-look House in complete contrast to the last. With its numbers having swollen to 280, against 114 in 2009, an upbeat BJP occupied the treasury benches. The Congress, with 44 seats, looked a pale shadow of its normal self, squeezed into a few rows on the opposition benches.

The mood of the House was different too. Members of the Congress, Left parties and their fellow travellers, who would miss no opportunity to taunt the BJP members with verbal attacks on Narendra Modi in his absence, appeared resigned to the new reality as Modi walked in a little before the proceedings began. The BJP members thumped their desks and sprang to their feet, their hands folded, to greet the Prime Minister.

President Paranab Mukherjee, PM Narendra Modi, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs M Venkaiah Naidu and Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath.  ( Source: PTI ) President Paranab Mukherjee, PM Narendra Modi, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs M Venkaiah Naidu and Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath. ( Source: PTI )

Modi stopped by to greet Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and others. All his former detractors seemed keen on exchanging pleasantries with him. Just then, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, walking down the aisle, found herself face-to-face with Modi. Both folded their hands and exchanged a few words before Modi paced back to his seat.

Quite a few members in saffron robes, including Adityanath (Gorakhpur), Chand Nath (Alwar), Sumedhanand (Sikar) and Niranjan Jyoti (Bahraich), stood out, reflecting the upsurge of the Hindutva brigade. BJP stalwart L K Advani, although marginalised in the current power play, sat next to Modi. Home Minister Rajnath Singh sat next to him, followed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Venakaih Naidu, Ram Vilas Paswan and Murli Manohar Joshi.

sonia-m

On the other side, Congress floor leader Mallikarjun Kharge occupied the seat earmarked for the Leader of Opposition, probably in anticipation of a favourable decision by the new Speaker. Sonia sat on the next bench in the company of former minister Veerappa Moily and K H Muniyappa.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu told the media later that no inferences needed to be drawn from the way the members occupied the seats on Wednesday.

A clear pecking order would emerge only after the Speaker allocates quotas of blocs to different parties and they in turn allot seats to individual members. He repeated that the government was studying all precedents, Rules and Acts to take a call on the issue of recognition of a Leader of Opposition.

Rahul Gandhi sat in the back rows with Shashi Tharoor. Those occupying front rows on the Opposition side included Mulayam Singh Yadav, Sudip Bandyopadhyay (TMC), Arjun Charan Sethi (BJD) and M Thambidurai (AIADMK).

Senior Congress member Kamal Nath, who was sworn in as the pro tem Speaker by President Pranab Mukherjee, took the chair. He read out an obituary reference to Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde and adjourned the House till Thursday.

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First Published on: June 4, 2014 6:36 pm
  1. A
    andy
    Jun 5, 2014 at 9:03 am
    By calling him a backbencher, we are actually insulting backbenchers all over India. Backbenchers are a intelligent kind you know, and a lot of them have grown up to be successful people.RaGa aka pappu is not even fit to be called a backbencher. He's a that's all.
    Reply
    1. H
      H1N1
      Jun 4, 2014 at 1:40 pm
      When will Rahul and Sonia wind up like Munde???
      Reply
      1. A
        ahirwan
        Jun 5, 2014 at 2:18 am
        Sometimes a timeout is needed to revitalise and re-invent oneself. All he needs is the Nehru 'DNA' that never surrendered until India was free from British hegemony and now we have a Cl/religious hegemony that is ruining the 900 million poor. Time to watch the high and mighty sink in their own pittard .Time to teach and train,reach the gr root followers on how to create a-door-to-door connection with the mes. With the hi name tag on their chest this Charismatic unit would wonders in times to come.
        Reply
        1. T
          Tellitasitis
          Jun 4, 2014 at 11:37 pm
          Rahul, ever a backbencher, was thrust into frontline of party owing obviously to his Nehru-hi lineage, has now chosen his preferred place
          Reply
          1. S
            sacchadesi
            Jun 4, 2014 at 4:01 pm
            That shows nice trait of the person. He is humble.
            Reply
            1. S
              Sankara Narayanan
              Jun 4, 2014 at 2:07 pm
              Rahul hi is lazy. Sonia is a clever, self seeking manitor. Neither will revive the Congress Party. Time has come to de-couple the Congress from the (current) his, identify m based leaders state-wise, form a co-ordination committee and brain-storm. If NCP could merge with the Congress (on condition Sonia will have no say in Congress affairs), it will bolster the morale of Congress rank & File.
              Reply
              1. C
                Citizen
                Jun 4, 2014 at 2:04 pm
                So finally he realized his real place in Indian politics????? Jaihind
                Reply
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