Bonhomie prevailed on day two of the 16th Lok Sabha, but one veteran leader was left out in the cold. Rediff.com contributor Renu Mittal reports.
It was sad to see veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former deputy prime minister L K Advani without a seat or an office in Parliament House.
As the working chairman of the ruling National Democratic Alliance, Advani had a room (No 4), but when he arrived in Parliament on Thursday, June 5, his nameplate was missing.
Advani chose to rest in the BJP Parliamentary Party office which is usually used by lesser leaders. Both Advani and senior leader Dr Murli Manohar Joshi have been left out in the cold and not given any berth in the government, with no surety of what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has in mind for them.
Eight-term Member of Parliament Sumitra Mahajan will be the next Lok Sabha Speaker, and the second woman to hold that post after Meira Kumar of the Congress.
Nineteen sets of nomination papers were filed proposing BJP MP Mahajan's name, with no party fielding any nominee for the post. A number of political parties have filed nomination papers proposing Mahajan's name, including the Congress, the All India Dravida Munetra Kazhagam, the Biju Janata Dal and others.
Mahajan will be elected Speaker of the Lok Sabha on Friday, June 6.
Four prominent posts will go to Opposition parties in the Lok Sabha -- the Leader of the Opposition, the Deputy Speaker and the chairmen for the Public Accounts and the Finance Account Committees.
Two of these posts, one of which is that of the Leader of the Opposition, would go to the Congress, and the other two would go to other Opposition parties, with the AIADMK keen to take the Deputy Speaker's post.
With 315 new members in the Lok Sabha, it was difficult to spot familiar faces on Thursday, June 5.
Members were seen being busy collecting their certificates before they could take the oath, which continued for most of the day. Bonhomie prevailed in the House with the members arriving with their families. After the ceremony, they adjourned to the Central Hall for a meal and coffee.
Members, new and old, took the oath in Sanskrit, Maithili, Konkani, Assamese, Gujarati, Kannada, Sanskrit and English.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu was busy allocating seats to members, along with the offices for ministers in Parliament as well as their homes, since he is also the urban development minister.
After naming Mallikarjun Kharge the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, party president Sonia Gandhi nominated former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh as the deputy leader of the party in the Lok Sabha. Jyotiraditya Scindia has been named as the chief whip.
The two whips appointed are K C Venugopal from Kerala, and Deepender Hooda, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda's son.
Image: Congress President Sonia Gandhi greets Prime Minister Narendra Modi