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Gujarat, Shri Narendra Modi, who had spearheaded the party’s electoral campaign, was unanimously elected as the leader of the BJP Parliamentary Party on 20 May. Later, Shri Modi was elected as the leader of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the alliance consisting of several parties. He had been the Chief Minister of Gujarat since October 2001 until his resignation on 21 May 2014.

On 26 May 2014, Shri Modi was sworn in as the Prime Minister of India by the President. Shri Modi invited the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) leaders to attend his swearing-in ceremony. They included: Mr Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan; Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President of Sri Lanka; and H.E. Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan. Besides the SAARC leaders, the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Mr Navin Ramgoolam also attended the ceremony. Along with Prime Minister Modi, 45 Ministers were sworn in by the President. The first session of the new


June 2014. Senior INC leader, Shri Kamal Nath, a nine-term MP, was sworn-in as Speaker Pro-tem of the newly constituted Lok Sabha. On 6 June, senior BJP leader Smt. Sumitra Mahajan was unanimously chosen as Speaker of the Lok Sabha. Seventeen motions were moved by members from different parties including BJP leader and Prime Minister Modi. Leaders of Congress also moved the motions in her favour. The Speaker Pro-tem put the motion moved by the Prime Minister, and was seconded by Shri L.K. Advani to the vote of the House.

Congratulating all the parties and all the members of the House for unanimously electing Smt. Mahajan as Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Modi said it was “a matter of great pride that a woman would preside over the temple of democracy and conduct the business of the House. The House would surely be able to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the people under her benign stewardship and guidance”.

Referring to the presence of as

many as 315 first-time members, the Prime Minister hoped that the arena of democracy that was resonating with the enthusiasm and energy of the new members would turn into a temple of development and progress for the nation. The Minister of Parliamentary

Shri Narendra Modi

Lok Sabha commenced on 4 June 2014. The newly elected Lok Sabha had a brief meeting and was adjourned soon after it met, as a mark of respect to the memory of Union Minister of Rural Development, Shri Gopinath Munde who died in a road accident in New Delhi on 3

Affairs, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu thanked all political parties for extending their cooperation in the unanimous election of Smt. Mahajan as Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Shri Mallikarjun Kharge

(INC), congratulated Smt. Mahajan and requested the Speaker to safeguard the interests of all parties, be they small or large, and give opportunity to all parties and members. Dr M. Thambidurai (AIADMK) observed that this

210 | The Parliamentarian | 2014: Issue Three

was not a new assignment for Smt. Mahajan as she had been presiding over the House as a member of the Panel of Chairpersons. He requested the Speaker to take care of the feelings of the members while following the rules and regulations in running the House. Shri Bhartruhari Mahtab

(BJD) was confident that the House would be very productive

Shri H.D. Deve Gowda

under the guidance of the new Speaker. While Shri Ananth Gangaram Geete (Shiv Sena) opined that the Speaker would maintain the dignity of the Lok Sabha and enhance its dignity, the Minister of Civil Aviation, Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati (TDP), congratulated and wished the Speaker the very best. Shri P. Karunakaran (CPI-M) and Shri Rajesh Ranjan (RJD) requested the Speaker to provide assistance and protection to the opposition and small parties represented in the House, while Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP) said it was the benign duty of the Speaker to award protection to members of the opposition parties irrespective of their strength in the House. The Minister of Food Processing Industries, Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal (SAD) observed that the small minority of women MPs that represent half of the population of the country and many of whom were first timers in the Lok Sabha, looked forward to the Speaker’s encouragement and protection. She assured her

party’s cooperation in every way for the smooth running of the House so that the 16th Lok Sabha would go down in history as being the most constructive, forward thinking and effective Lok Sabha. Shri H.D. Deve Gowda (JD-S), a former Prime Minister, said it was the responsibility of both the ruling and opposition parties to see that the House proceedings were smoothly conducted. As the government enjoyed absolute majority, he requested the Leader of the House to give a little more time to the regional parties to express their views concerning their various problems. Thanking the members for electing her unanimously as Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Smt. Mahajan said the moment was not only a moment of great honour for her but also full of challenges. She assured that on the basis of experience of the past 25 years in the House she would endeavour to live up to the expectations of the members. Emphasizing that effective laws for the welfare of the people could be made only through detailed and comprehensive discussions,

Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal

she requested all the members to make their contribution in the legislative business through meaningful discussion in the House. She asked them to serve well in the committees to which they would be nominated and

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