Lok Sabha bids adieu to a historical 16th term from 2014-2019

By Sarkaritel February 13, 2019 19:44

By TN Ashok

New Delhi, Fe 13 : Even as the battle lines are drawn ahead of the 2019 polls between the BJP led NDA and Congess led opposition, the Lok Sabha today bid an emotional adieu to its 16th term as members cutting across party lines hailed the speaker Ms Sumitra Mahajan for the non-partisan manner in which the proceedings were conducted and historic legislation’s passed.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi , who described himself humbly as a first time MP, said it was a great learning experience for him to be with senior members in the hallowed portals of the august house where greats sat in ruling and opposition benches and 13 Prime Ministers preceded him. @ Main LOK SABHA ka geography nahin jantha tha tha  ( i did not know the geography of lok sabha) and i yet went on to discover so many things about the august house@, he said

I found it strange that when i first sat in the Prime Ministers seat in the lok sabha i happened to see the list of PM’s who preceded me were 13 but i found only the names of just three Prime Ministers , he said adding I hope the list would be complete when we meet next for the 17th term whichever party comes to power.

Speaking of his party’s performance in the five year term 2014-19, Modi said the people gave us  an opportunity to come to power and change things for their  betterment.  This house witnessed several historical legislations such as the one on prevention of corruption, the anti fugitive law, the bankruptcy and insolvency code, game changing taxation legislations such as the GST. The BJP has given the people benefits that they can be happy about and stand in pride about the nation which now has a distinct identity in the comity of nations. He was apparently referring to his ceaseless efforts at diplomacy connecting with world leaders at various international fora and the numerous visits to far off countries to reach out to investors and establish India’s identity as a strong nation.

One such effort was the establishment of the international solar alliance , he said adding in a muted reference to the OPEC control oil prices and said the solar alliance would pose a major challenge to them soon with green technologies that would change the face of the world and adhere to the protocols of climate change set out by the United Nations.

In fact at the recent Petrotech 2019 , the PM had reached out to the the oil producing countries in the middle east and said patterns of consumption and production had changed from west to east and oil and gas had to be realistically and reasonably priced for nations to grow. India would lead the crusade on this , he had affirmed.

The 16th term of the LOK SABHA was also historic in the sense that for the first time in the history of India there were as many as 44 women members in the house. This was a sign of women’s empowerment that the BJP led NDA government had ushered in , he hinted.

Today, India is the 6th h largest economy in the world and reputed financial institutions (WB and IFC) were lauding the country’s investors friendly policies and the ease of doing business in the country.

The self confidence of India in the world has gone up and self confidence of the nation stood tall in the world today, he said claiming the BJP governments economic policies had achieved great deals.

India has become digital and in the world of space India has achieved a special place launching satellites of so many foreign countries that also makes the space establishments revenue earning viable entities.

The speaker, Ms Sumitra Mahajan, today thanked the parties and its members for giving her an opportunity to sit in the august house and wanted forgiveness for being harsh on any members which she did only for the smooth conduct of the house ( apparent reference was the large suspension of members on the TDP and AIADMK who were admonished for entering the well of the house protesting against poor allocations to Andhra and handling of the Cauvery issue).

The house had 331 sittings passed 730 resolutions, fielded 6400 questions and more than 10,000 unstarred questions. Dr Thambi Durai , deputy speaker said it was a strange coincidence that in a 30 year cycle of his being the deputy speaker, twice he was elected unopposed to the post first when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister and this time it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi , both of whom belonged to the BJP. And both MGR and Jayalalitha as CMs of Tamil Nadu had given him the opportunity to represent the party in parliament and occupy the post.

The last day of the 16th term of the LOK SABHA  became one of the most memorable tenures in the history of Indian democracy since Independence. The outgoing Lok Sabha had the BJP holding the reins of power for a third time but this time as single party majority.

The 16th Lok Sabha was constituted on May 18, 2014, two days after the results of the general election were declared. Narendra Modi, who was the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate in that election, took oath as the Prime Minister on May 26. The first session of the 16th Lok Sabha took place between June 4-11. The current Lok Sabha saw 315 MPs taking oath for the first time, which is 58 per cent of the total members.

Out of those 315, 190 members had no prior legislative experience. Also in the 16th LS, 169 members were re-elected from the 15th Lok Sabha. The 16th LS had 62 women members after the general poll, the highest ever. PM Modi himself was a first-time MP. The 16th Lok Sabha had some unique moments even though it did not have any formal Opposition as no party could get the minimum number of 54 seats in the Parliament, media reports indicate. .

The five years between 2014 to 2019 saw  scene creating incidents in the house when opposition member and Congress president Rahul Gandhi hugged  Modi & then winking: On July 20, 2018, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, the MP from Amethi, went across to a seated PM Modi and gave him a hug, saying that he harbored no hatred for the BJP. It was during a debate over a no-confidence motion against the BJP-led NDA government. They may call me “pappu” (youngsteer) yet I bore no hate for them, Rahul had said.

Rahul then returned to his seat even as the BJP protested his act and winked at some of his colleagues, which was then taken up by Modi himself during his talk calling it “aankho ka khel” (trick of the eyes).

Modi cried while addressing the BJP MPs: It was on May 20, 2014, and Modi was yet to take oath as the Prime Minister. He was about to address the BJP MPs in the Parliament’s Central Hall when he requested party patriarch Lal Krishna Advani not to mention the word “favour” again. Advani had earlier said that Modi had done a (kripa) favour to the party. Modi turned emotional and said serving one’s mother is never a favour. It was also on the same day that Modi had bowed on the steps of the Parliament building calling it the “temple of democracy”.

Textiles Minister and Rajya Sabha MP, Ms Smriti Iranis had her peak moments in the house when in an emotional speech over Rohith Vemula’s suicide, she said Modi would return to power with 300 seats. : This was in the Lok Sabha on February 24, 2016, when she delivered an emotional speech replete with anger against the Opposition over the debate over Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula’s alleged suicide and the JNU sedition row that year. Irani, the then HRD minister  lashed out defending the government’s action against the students of the JNU saying their union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others were found indulging in anti-national activities.

Irani’s passionate speech might have failed to convince many but it remains one of the most memorable moments in the Lower House of the Parliament. Hukumdev Narayan Yadav’s touching speech that moved even PM Modi: Hukumdev , a veteran BJP MP from Bihar’s Madhubani, gave a passionate speech during the 2015 budget session that moved the PM.

Yadav attacked the caste system in India and also those who made fun of the sub-altern classes. He lashed out at those who mocked Modi as a tea-seller saying such attacks were below the belt and could not stop the latter from becoming the Prime Minister. Modi was clearly seen turning emotional hearing Yadav’s words.

In a rare moment, before he became seriously ill, Finance Ministers Arun Jaitley requested permission from the speaker to sit and read his more than hour long budget speech on February 28, 2015. he suffered from frequent backaches while standing.

Many first time members and veterans praised the manner in which Ms Sumitra Mahajan conducted the house and gave every party an opportunity to speak in the house.

By Sarkaritel February 13, 2019 19:44