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DNA: Analysis of first session of 18th Lok Sabha amid protests by opposition |

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The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha commenced today, marking the beginning of a new parliamentary term with significant developments both inside and outside the house. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with several other leaders, took their oaths as Members of Parliament (MPs), setting the stage for what promises to be a dynamic and contentious session. In today’s DNA, Anant Tyagi analyses the session that kicked off with opposition MPs staging demonstrations and brandishing copies of the Constitution.

The seating order inside the Parliament has changed in 2024. Today’s session gave a glimpse of how much room there is for work in this new seating arrangement and how much for conflict between the ruling party and the opposition.

On the first day of the session, opposition MPs arrived in Parliament waving copies of the Constitution. The first demonstration was by Congress MPs outside the Parliament. Almost everyone held a pocket edition of the Constitution, the same edition Rahul Gandhi carried throughout the election campaign, showing it repeatedly. The Samajwadi Party is the second largest party in the opposition. Akhilesh Yadav and his MPs carried full volumes of the Constitution. Some were English editions, and some were Hindi.

As soon as the pro-tem speaker called PM Modi to take the MP’s oath, Rahul Gandhi started showing the Constitution to the PM. When Home Minister Amit Shah reached to take the oath, Rahul Gandhi again showed the Constitution. When it was Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s turn, the opposition tried to turn the oath-taking into a commotion with slogans of ‘NEET-NEET and SHAME-SHAME.’

During the 2024 elections, the entire opposition ran with the narrative that if Modi returns to power, he will change the Constitution, end reservations, give free rein to ED and CBI, and that there won’t be any future elections in the country if Modi comes back.

Before taking his third oath, the Prime Minister paid his respects to the Constitution, leading to speculation that the opposition might change its track. But today, the opposition persisted with the Constitution narrative, prompting Prime Minister Modi to remind them of the date June 25 and Indira’s Emergency. This was the second counter we were referring to. When Modi jabbed with the reminder of the Emergency, Congress President Kharge wrote a lengthy post in response, saying that “the rope may have burnt, but the twists remain.” He ended by writing, “We will protect the Constitution.”

From the PM’s response, we can anticipate tomorrow’s scenes in Parliament. Since tomorrow is June 25, if Congress shows the Constitution again, the ruling party will likely remind them of the Emergency in full force. Watch the full DNA:

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