Stressing on the importance of an active opposition in democracy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday told them not to bother about their numbers and instead actively take part in the Lok Sabha’s proceedings.
Before taking oath as a member on the first day of the 17th Lok Sabha, Modi said the role of an “opposition and an active opposition is important in a parliamentary democracy”.
“The opposition need not bother about their numbers. I hope they speak actively and participate in house proceedings,” Modi told reporters in Parliament complex.
In the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP-led NDA won a whopping 353 of the 542 seats where elections were held. The Congress, the second largest party in the Lok Sabha after the BJP, won 52 seats while several other opposition parties too performed badly.
Modi also urged MPs to work for the country in an impartial way and address issues related to larger interests of the country.
“When we come to Parliament, we should forget ‘paksh’ (allies) and ‘vipaksh’ (opposition). We should think about issues with a ‘nishpaksh (unbiased) spirit’ and work in the larger interests of the nation.”
The spirit of impartiality was important and his government would try to preserve the dignity of Parliament in the next five years, he added.
And repeating his appeal of Sunday, the Prime Minister urged MPs to let Parliament work smoothly so that the aspirations of the people were fulfilled.
Noting that Monday marks the start of the first Parliament session after the Lok Sabha elections, the Prime Minister welcomed all new MPs and said: “With them comes new hopes, new aspirations and new determination to serve.”
Requesting all parties to support the mandate given by the people, Modi said: “After several decades a government has won an absolute majority for a second term. People have given us the chance to serve the country again. I request all the parties to support the decisions that are in favour of people.”
Modi expressed satisfaction that the new Lok Sabha has a high number of women members.
Later, the Prime Minister along with other MPs took oath as members of the Lok Sabha, which will see the passage of the Union Budget and some key legislations including the Triple Talaq Bill.
Pro tem Speaker Virendra Kumar administered the oath to Modi and other newly elected members.
The first two days of the session will be devoted to oath-taking by Lok Sabha members.
The Speaker will be elected on Wednesday. The next day, at a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament, President Ram Nath Kovind will deliver his customary address.