New Lok Sabha meets, adjourned over Munde's death

New Delhi


The 16th Lok Sabha met for the first time Wednesday and was adjourned for the day as a mark of respect to union minister Gopinath Munde, who died in a road accident Tuesday.

The adjournment of the Lok Sabha was the first instance of a newly constituted house having been adjourned on the first day following the death of a sitting member.

As soon as the house assembled, pro-tem speaker Kamal Nath, who had taken oath earlier at Rashtrapati Bhavan, condoled Munde's death.

Following this, Lok Sabha secretary general P. Shreedharan tabled the list of newly-elected members as notified by the Election Commission.

Kamal Nath then asked the members whether the oath taking exercise should be taken up Thursday. As the members agreed, he postponed the exercise to Thursday and adjourned the house for the day.

"The house is being adjourned till 11 a.m. Thursday because of the sad demise of our colleague Gopinath Munde," he said.

The house also observed a two-minute silence in the memory of Munde.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who entered the house a few minutes before the sitting commenced, walked over to the opposition benches and greeted Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other leaders with folded hands.

Modi, whose act of bowing his forehead and touching the steps of parliament May 20 before his election as the Bharatiya Janata Party parliamentary party leader was widely noticed and commented upon, sought to reach out to the opposition Wednesday through his gestures.

He occupied his seat on the treasury benches in his new role as prime minister and leader of BJP parliamentary party after greeting opposition leaders, including Mallikarjun Kharge and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Earlier, BJP and National Democratic Alliance members stood up and some even thumped their desks as Modi entered the Lok Sabha. As he went along the front rows, more members stood up in their seats.

The celebratory mood in the new Lok Sabha was tinged with sadness at the loss of a member and minister.

Speaking to the media before entering the house, Modi expressed his gratitude to the citizens of the country for their decisive mandate in the Lok Sabha polls. He said his government will make all efforts to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the people.

He said: "The people of India have voted in unprecedented numbers, blessed their representatives and elected the 16th Lok Sabha."- IANS