New Delhi: The first session of the brand new Lok Sabha after the general elections commences its business on Monday with the BJP-led NDA coming back to power with an improved majority and a massive mandate to rule the country for the next five years.
The first two days of the session will be completely devoted to oath-taking by 542 members of the 17th Lok Sabha. The election for Vellore constituency in Tamil Nadu was cancelled on charges of money power playing a huge role in the election there. Two more MPs will be nominated by the government from the Anglo Indian community.
The oath-taking by the new members will be overseen by the protem Speaker. Seniormost MP Virendra Kumar elected from Tikamjarh in Madhya Pradesh. A former Union Minister, Kumar was elected to Lok Sabha for the first time in 1996 and has been winning all the six elections that have followed.
Kumar will be sworn in as protem Speaker tomorrow morning by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan ahead of the start of the Lok Sabha session. He will be assisted by a panel of senior members including Kodikunnil Suresh from Kerala and Bhatruhari Mahtab from Odisha in overseeing the proceedings when members take oath on June 17 and 18.
The election of Speaker of the Lok Sabha will be held on June 19 followed by a joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament on June 20 when The President will deliver his address, which is customary after General Elections.
Interest is now centered on who will be the new Speaker in the place of Sumitra Mahajan, Speaker of the 16th Lok Sabha who has not contested the recent elections.
It remains to be seen whether the new Speaker will be a woman and if so whether it could be former minister Maneka Gandhi, who is also a senior member. Before Mahajan, during the second term of the UPA, the post was held by Meira Kumar who became the first Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
The Union Budget will be presented by the new Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman which will be preceded by a pre-Budget Economic survey on July 4. It will be the full budget of the year because the budget presented before the elections was a vote on account
Ahead of the session, the BJP parliamentary party has been reconstituted with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the leader of the House in the Lok Sabha and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh the Deputy Leader. In the Rajya Sabha Social Justice Minister Thawarchand Gehlot has been named the Leader of the House while Railway Minister Piyush Goyal the Deputy Leader.
Arun Jaitley, who was the Leader of the House, during the first government of Modi, will be missed after he opted out of the government on health grounds.
The main opposition Congress yet does decide on its office bearers in Parliament except that Sonia Gandhi has been elected as its Chairperson.
Parliament will also miss some familiar faces. Two former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and H.D. Deve Gowda will not be occupying seats in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha respectively.
While the term of Singh, who represented Assam for 28 years in the Upper House has ended a couple of days ago, Gowda was defeated in the Lok Sabha elections. Senior Leaders of BJP L.K.Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj and Uma Bharati did not contest elections and will not be in the Lok Sabha. Likewise, Mallikarjun Kharge, who was the Leader of the Congress in the previous Lok Sabha, and Jyotiraditya Scindia, Deputy Leader, will also be missed as they were defeated in the Lok Sabha Elections.