PM Modi says will work for consensus, hopes Opposition will maintain ‘democratic decorum’

Watch: PM Modi speaks ahead of Parliament session | Video Credit: PTI

The people of India want a ‘good and responsible’ Opposition based on ‘substance rather than slogans’, and not one that indulged in ‘drama and disruption’, PM Modi said

Updated - June 24, 2024 04:42 pm IST

Published - June 24, 2024 11:40 am IST - New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, the first day of the 18th Lok Sabha, struck an aggressive note, stating that while he and his government would “strive to drive a consensus both inside and outside the House”, the people of India also wanted a “good and responsible” Opposition based on “substance rather than slogans”, and not one that indulged in “drama and disruption”.

He made these remarks in his customary address before the start of a Parliament Session. In a barb clearly aimed at the Congress, he also mentioned that on Tuesday, the country would be entering the 50th anniversary of the year of the imposition of the Emergency by the then Indira Gandhi-led Congress government. “It will be our endeavour that we never see such days again,” Mr. Modi said.

Opposition MPs, meanwhile, collected in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statute, now moved to ‘Prerna Sthal’ at the back of the Parliament from its central location between the old and new Parliament House, holding copies of the Indian Constitution, raising slogans that they would protect it. From the appointment of the pro tem Speaker to the issues in the NEET exams, the Opposition and the Treasury are in combat mode from the get go in this first session.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the media at the Parliament House complex on the first day of the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha, in New Delhi on June 24, 2024.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the media at the Parliament House complex on the first day of the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha, in New Delhi on June 24, 2024. | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

Mr. Modi responded by signalling what he understood by the mandate of the 2024 Lok Sabha election. “People have put their stamp of approval on the intentions and policies of this government,” he said.

“Our responsibilities have risen by three times. I want to assure people of the country that we will work three times more in our third term and deliver three times more as well,” he said. Adding that people wanted a good and responsible Opposition, Mr. Modi said that the Opposition’s conduct had been disappointing in the past. He expressed the hope that it would “play its role this time” and “maintain democratic decorum”.

The Prime Minister described his alliance’s win in the election as “great and grand” and “a matter of pride”, noting that this is was first time in the past 60 years that a government had assumed office for a third straight term.

He said it was a matter of pride that the oath-taking ceremony for the newly-elected MPs would be taking place in the new Parliament building for the first time.

Mr. Modi reiterated that a majority may be needed to run government but the country ran on consensus. He said that his government would always strive to “take everyone along and build consensus to serve the country and fulfil people’s aspirations”.

The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha, Mr. Modi said, was an extremely important opportunity to render “a new pace and height to the country”. “It will be full of dreams and resolve to make ‘Shreshtha Bharat’ and ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047,” he added.

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