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Lok Sabha session starts today; Speaker choice

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New Delhi: The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha, which will begin on Monday, will see oathtaking by newly elected members. The election for the post of Lok Sabha Speaker will take place on Wednesday.

With BJP lacking a majority in the House and Congress set to get the leader of the Opposition post, the Speaker’s role has become crucial for the BJPled NDA.

In the 16th and 17th Lok Sabhas, BJP enjoyed absolute majority and there was no leader of the Opposition, which made it easier for the ruling party to get its legislative businesses passed.The row over appointment of BJP leader and seventerm MP Bhartruhari Mahtab as protem Speaker has cast shadow over the session. The move has drawn flak from the Opposition, which has alleged that the claim of Congress member K Suresh to the post was overlooked by the government. Parliamentary affairs minister Kiren Rijiju asserted that Mahtab has had seven uninterrupted terms as Lok Sabha member, making him eligible for the post. On Monday, President Droupadi Murmu will administer the oath to Mahtab as protem Speaker of the Lok Sabha at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Mahtab will then reach Parliament House and call the Lok Sabha to order at 11 am.The pro tem Speaker will then administer oath to a panel of chairpersons appointed by the President to assist him in carrying out the proceedings of the House till the election of the Speaker on Wednesday. The President has appointed Kodikunnil Suresh (Congress), TR Baalu ​​(DMK), Radha Mohan Singh and Faggan Singh Kulaste (both BJP) and Sudip Bandyopadhyay (Trinamool) to assist Mahtab in administering the oath/affirmation to the newly elected members. of the Lok Sabha.After the panel of chairpersons, the protem Speaker will administer oath/affirmation as Lok Sabha members to the Union Council of Ministers. The members from states, in alphabetical order, will take oath or make affirmation over the next two days.

The President is scheduled to address the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament on Thursday. The debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address will begin on Friday. Both the Houses are expected to go into a brief recess and reassemble on July 22 for the presentation of the Union Budget.