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1st Session of 16th Lok Sabha

June 10, 2014

The action packed and longest drawn Lok Sabha election is over, and we have our new Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the helm. Day before the first day of the first session, Kamal Nath, a senior Congress leader, was sworn in by President Pranab Mukherjee as the Protem Speaker. Two minute silence was observed in memory of Late Gopinath Munde, the Union Minister who recently died in a car accident in Delhi.

16th loksabha 1st session

On Wednesday 4 June 2014, the newly elected 16th Lok Sabha started its first session with renewed enthusiasm. This day was marked by an unprecedented attendance of 510 members out of the total 539, coupled with a rich display of linguistic and cultural diversity. The elected members of the parliament took oath in different dialects, ranging from Hindi to Kannada, Konkani, Maithili, and Sanskrit, one of the ancient languages of India.

Second day of the first session was marked by the oath-taking ceremony. Narendra Modi, a first timer in Parliament, was called upon by the Protem Speaker Kamal Nath as the first person to take oath as the member of the sixteenth Indian parliament. Interestingly, out of the 543 strong MPs, 315 are first timers in the parliament. Time will show, whether the fresh blood is able to do away with the culture of cynicism, continued disruption, and boycott of the parliament. The entire nation, especially the burgeoning educated middle class, is keeping its fingers crossed and hoping for a paradigm shift in the attitude of the newly formed 16th Lok Sabha, which is expected to get marked by meaningful discussions rather than cynicism and disruptions.

A Quick Preview of a New Beginning

The first sitting of the first session was marked by loud thumping of desks, as the newly elected Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, walked in the newly formed parliament with the BJP patriarch Lal Krishna Advani by his side. Modi personally greeted all the members before taking his seat. While the PM sat in the first row corner of the treasury bench, L K Advani sat beside him. The new parliamentary session kick started with a cordial greeting between Narendra Modi and Sonia Gandhi, which is definitely a healthy sign. It is desired that the current government remains receptive to the concerns aired by the opposition, and the opposition in turn restricts itself to constructive criticism rather than throwing barbs at each other, which became a norm in the past.

Interesting Facts

There are some interesting statistics that need a special mention.

  1. This parliament has the second highest number of first time MPs – 315. The highest was 376 in the year 1977.
  2. The 16th Lok Sabha also witnessed the second lowest number of MPs getting re-elected – 177.
  3. The lowest was also in 1977, during post-Emergency election, when the number bottomed out at 144.
  4. Some of the big guns such as Lalu Prasad, P Chidambaram, Sharad Yadav, Kapil Sibal, and Sushil Kumar Shinde will not be seen in the parliament. Interestingly, some of the prominent political parties such as DMK, BSP, NC, Rashtriya Lok Dal, AGP of Prafulla Mahanta, JVM of Babulal Marandi, and many others will not be seen in the Parliament for the next five years.
  1. The tally of women MPs has also increased from 50 from the last parliament to 62 this term.
  2. This is the second time when Speaker of the House is a woman. Eight-time BJP MP, Sumitra Mahajan has been elected unanimously as the new Speaker of the Parliament. This is the first time a woman BJP member has been appointed as the Speaker.
  3. The sixteenth Lok Sabha is going to be a mixture of new as well as old. While 86-year old Lal Krishna Advani is the oldest member, there are three youngest members (Heena Gavit, Dushyant Chautala, and Abhishek Banerjee) of just 26 years of age.
  4. However, there is a concerning fact too. This is the first-ever time Indian parliament has the lowest representation from minority communities. Only 21 muslim MPs have been elected this time.
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Disclaimer: The views expressed are of those of the author and do not represent the views of Elections.in.

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