From Constitution to NEET: Opposition makes strong statement on day 1 of 18th Lok Sabha

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who was seen waving the Constitution at Prime Minister Narendra Modi while he was taking oath, said the opposition would hold the Union government accountable.
Screengrab of Congress leaders protesting
Screengrab of Congress leaders protestingANI
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The inaugural session of the 18th Lok Sabha on Monday, June 24, got off to a cracking start, even before discussions began, due to a variety of issues ranging from the appointment of the Pro Tem speaker to the cancellation of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) exams. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who was seen waving the Constitution at Prime Minister Narendra Modi while he was taking oath, said the opposition would hold the Union government accountable.

“The attack on the Constitution by Narendra Modi and Amit Shah  is not acceptable. We will not let this happen. That is why we held the Constitution during the oath. The opposition’s message is clear, no power can touch the Constitution of India and the Prime Minister will be held accountable,” Rahul Gandhi said.

When Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan was taking oath, Opposition leaders raised the issue of NEET with slogans. They demanded the resignation of the minister and stated that there was an “education emergency” in the country. 

Rahul Gandhi also said Narendra Modi was busy saving his government and was psychologically on the backfoot. “First 15 days of NDA – Horrific train accident, terrorist attacks in Kashmir, plight of passengers in trains, NEET scam, NEET PG cancelled, UGC NET paper leak, milk, pulses, gas, forests blazing with fire, water crisis, and deaths due to lack of arrangements during heat wave,” he added.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary KC Venugopal said that Congress-led INDIA Bloc was determined to fight for protecting the Constitution. “We urged all our members to carry a copy of the Constitution with them because the BJP government is tampering with it. All the claims they have made of crossing over 400 seats failed,” Venugopal said, adding that the opposition was the guardian of democracy.

Earlier in the day, Opposition leaders attacked the appointment of seven-time BJP MP Bhartruhari Mahtab over Congress MP Kodikunnil Suresh. Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee said the way Mahtab was appointed violated the Constitution and set a new precedent. Congress leader from Assam Gaurav Gogoi said that Suresh was not chosen because he was a Dalit. “The whole Dalit community in India could have witnessed a historic scene when he was appointed as Pro-tem Speaker. BJP has not just neglected Congress, INDIA alliance but the entire Dalit community,” he added.

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