As the first session of the newly elected Parliament and the 17th Lok Sabha began from Monday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, a member of parliament from Wayanad constituency did not attend the parliament, raising questions over his respect for democratic values and traditions.
Rahul Gandhi, the President of the principal opposition party, was found missing during the morning session on the first day of the 17th Lok Sabha session. Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi had a meeting with senior party members in his residence, including his mother Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Gandhi. It was reported that the Congress President may visit the parliament later in the day to take oath as the member of the parliament.
It was expected that Rahul Gandhi, being the leader of the largest opposition, would be attending the parliament in the afternoon session despite giving a miss to the most important morning session of the first day of the newly elected parliament. However, Rahul Gandhi is absent even in the afternoon session of the Lok Sabha.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi arrives at his residence in Delhi, where Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was holding a meeting with Haryana Congress leader Kuldeep Bishnoi. pic.twitter.com/WuUU0a6ExW
— ANI (@ANI) June 17, 2019
Reportedly, Rahul Gandhi has now returned back to India from his week-long vacation to London. After the humiliating defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi had flown to London to ward off any criticism post the Lok Sabha election defeat.
Rahul Gandhi’s absence from the lower house was widely criticised on social media. Even Congress friendly journalists and political commentators had questioned the move. Reacting to such criticism, Rahul Gandhi tweeted to inform that he will attend Parliament today afternoon and take oath as an MP from Kerala.
My 4th consecutive term as a Member of the #LokSabha begins today. Representing Wayanad, Kerala, I begin my new innings in Parliament by taking my oath this afternoon, affirming that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India 🇮🇳
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 17, 2019
Earlier today, President Ram Nath Kovind administered the Oath of Office to Virendra Kumar as Pro-tem Speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Virendra Kumar will oversee the oath-taking of newly elected Lok Sabha members on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, as soon as a new speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha is elected, his role will cease to exist.
Interestingly, Kodikunnil Suresh, a Congress MP from Kerala, was the second member of the house to take oath after Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He also surprised everyone by taking oath in Hindi. It is speculated that Suresh could be the leader of the Congress Party in Lok Sabha. He was followed by senior ministers of the government to take the oath, after which MPs started taking oath state wise.
The prime minister addressed the media before the inaugural session of the 17th Lok Sabha said, “We are working to fulfil people’s aspirations. New friends will join today and they will bring new energy. The role of an active Opposition is important. The opposition need not bother about their numbers. I hope they will speak actively and participate in house proceedings.”