PARLIAMENT SESSION: First session of new Lok Sabha starts Monday with swearing-in of MPs; Budget set for July 5


NEW DELHI: As the seventeenth session of the Lok Sabha begins its first session from tomorrow. The Lok Sabha will be meeting first, followed by the Rajya Sabha a few days later. The swearing in of members in the lower house is the first item of priority, followed by election of Speaker. The oath-taking would be spread over three days. The real business of the lower house would start only by June 20. 

President Ram Nath Kovind would address the joint sitting of both the houses of Parliament on the opening day of the session on June 17. The Economic Survey will be presented on July 4, and the Union Budget the next day. The session will continue till July 26. The Speaker would be elected on June 19.

The  Parliament will be faced with a new scenario, when there will be no former prime minister in both the houses to keep track of the activities on the government side or pinpoint flaws, if any. 

Former PM Dr Manmohan Singh was in the Rajya Sabha till Friday, when he retired. He was a member of Rajya Sabha for the past 28 years. He had been elected from Assam assembly, but the Congress has no strength in the state assembly there to re-elect him. No Rajya Sabha election is due in this season from any Congress-ruled state or state where the Congress has legislative strength to elect someone to the Rajya Sabha. A likelihood is that Singh could be elected to Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu, when a vacancy arises there sometime later. The DMK is willing to help the Congress in this matter.

HD Deve Gowda, a former PM, was in the last Lok Sabha. He lost the present polls from Tumkur, Karnataka. Chances of him surfacing in the Rajya Sabha from the Karnataka assembly quota sometime later are strong.  

A big question is who would lead the Congress in the lower house. Sonia Gandhi has been elected the leader of the Congress parliamentary party (CPP) – which covers party members of both the houses. Rahul Gandhi might lead the party in the lower house, but he is still away vacationing in London, unmindful of the pressing issues facing the party back home. The Congress leader in the last Lok Sabha was Mallikarjun Kharge, who too lost the polls from Karnataka this time.

With the Congress winning no LS seat in several states in the 2019 polls, many senior-level leaders have been floored and will be missed in Parliament this time. A notable name is of Jyotiraditya Scindia who lost the polls from Guna, Madhya Pradesh.

Several stalwarts from the BJP side too would be missing this time. They include LK Advani, who represented Gandhinagar in Gujarat the last time; Murli Manohar Joshi who represented Kanpur in UP; Sushma Swaraj from Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh; former LS speaker Sumitra Majajan from Indore; Uma Bharti, MP from Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh. Advani and Joshi were kept out due to age factor, they being above the BJP’s permissible age of 75; Sushma, 66, has health problems. 

Another miss would be of actor-turned politician Shatrughan Sinha, who lost to Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Patna Sahib constituency in Bihar. –IHN-NN


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