INDIA bloc MPs gathered in the Parliament complex on Monday in a show of strength on the first day of the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha, holding copies of the Constitution and raising slogans on “saving democracy”.

Opposition leaders, including Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, party leader Rahul Gandhi, Trinamool Congress’ Sudip Bandyopadhyay, DMK’s TR Baalu, among others assembled at the spot where the Gandhi statue once stood in the Parliament complex.

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi also joined the MPs.

Holding copies of the Constitution in their hands, they raised slogans such as “long live Constitution”, “we will save Constitution”, “save our democracy”.

Rahul Gandhi said they would not allow the Constitution to be “attacked” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.

“This attack is not acceptable to us and that is why we held the Constitution and took oath,” he said.

“Our message is reaching the public and no power can touch the Constitution of India and we will protect it,” Gandhi added.

The Lok Sabha has been adjourned and will meet again at 11 a.m. on June 25. The first session of the Lok Sabha began with various prominent leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, taking oaths as Members of Parliament. Union Ministers G. Kishan Reddy, Chirag Paswan, Kiren Rijiju, Nitin Gadkari, and Mansukh Mandaviya took oaths as members of the 18th Lok Sabha, amongst others. Union Ministers Bhupender Yadav, Giriraj Singh, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, JD(U) MP Rajiv Ranjan (Lalan) Singh, BJP MP Piyush Goyal, and Union Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also took oaths as members of the 18th Lok Sabha.

Earlier today, seven-time BJP MP Mahtab was sworn in as the Pro-tem Speaker of the 18th Lok Sabha. The oath was administered by President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Meanwhile, the Opposition MPs of the INDIA bloc protested against the appointment of Mr. Mahtab as the Pro-tem Speaker, saying that the appointment by the BJP deviates from the traditional practice of appointing the senior member.

On June 26, the Lok Sabha Speaker will be elected. On June 27, President Murmu is scheduled to address the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament. Earlier, while addressing media persons outside the new Parliament building, PM Modi congratulated all the newly elected members and said that the new government will always strive to take everyone along and build consensus to serve the country.
(With inputs from TH and ToI)

MTNews Desk

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