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First Day of 18th Lok Sabha Marked by Oath-Taking, Protest Over NEET Irregularities and Constitution Row
Jun 25, 2024 12:56 pm

Divya Delhi:  The first day of the 18th Lok Sabha was marked by the oath-taking ceremony of 262 members, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, amidst a backdrop of controversy surrounding the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and a row over the appointment of the pro tem Speaker. Opposition parties protested the NEET irregularities, while also holding copies of the Constitution during the oath-taking ceremony.

As Prime Minister Modi took his oath in Hindi, chants of "Jai Shri Ram" were heard from the Treasury benches. Home Minister Amit Shah was also administered his oath as opposition parties held up copies of the Constitution in protest. The Congress and INDIA bloc had earlier objected to the appointment of pro tem Speaker Bhartruhari Mahtab, citing the oversight of eight-term member K. Suresh, a Dalit leader.

In a show of strength, opposition leaders including Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, former party chiefs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, Trinamool Congress' Sudip Bandyopadhyay, and DMK's T.R. Baalu gathered outside the Parliament building to protest the NEET irregularities and Constitution row. "The attack on the Constitution by Pradhan Mantri ji and Home Minister Amit Shah is not acceptable," said Rahul Gandhi. "We will not allow that to happen and that is why we held the Constitution while taking oaths."