The proceedings of the Lok Sabha on the first day of the Winter Session were adjourned today after the House paid tributes to three sitting and seven former members who died during the inter-session period. The House would now meet on Monday.
As soon as the House assembled, newly-elected Congress member from Gurdaspur Sunil Kumar Jakhar was administered the oath, which he took in Punjabi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted Jakhar with a handshake when the former greeted him with folded hands after taking oath. The Gurdaspur bypoll was necessitated following the demise of BJP member and cine star Vinod Khanna.
After the oath of the new member, Modi introduced new ministers to the House. These included Dharmendra Pradhan, Piyush Goyal and Nirmala Sitharaman who were elevated as Cabinet ministers in the September 3 rejig of the council of ministers. The new faces are ministers of state (independent charge) R K Singh, Hardeep Puri, K J Alphonse and ministers of state Shiv Pratap Shukla, Virendra Kumar, Ananth Hegde, Gajendra Shekhawat and Satyapal Singh.
Making obituary references, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan informed members that three sitting Lok Sabha MPs — Sultan Ahmed (TMC), Chand Nath (BJP) and Tasleem Uddin (RJD) had passed away recently. Seven other former members — Vikram Mahajan, Ram Singh, R Keishing, P C Barman, Dhanraj Singh, Amal Datta and Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi also died during the inter-session period. The House was also introduced to the new Secretary General, Snehlata Shrivastava, who took over on December 1. A former IAS officer, she is the first woman Secretary General of the Lok Sabha.
Before the proceedings began, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met leaders of various parties. When the Prime Minister entered the House, he greeted the members from the opposition benches with a ‘namaste’ and bowing his head