New Delhi: The first session of the newly constituted 16th Lok Sabha will be held from June 4 to June 11 with President Pranab Mukherjee addressing the joint sitting of both Houses on June nine.
After the new members take oath on June 4 and 5, the Speaker will be elected on the next day. The Rajya Sabha will commence from June nine after the joint sitting.
Senior Congress MP Kamal Nath will be the Pro-tem Speaker who will administer the oath to the new members. He will be assisted by a panel of Chairmen, consisting of Arjun Charan Sethi (BJD), Purno A Sangma (National People's Party) and Biren Singh Engti (Congress).
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu made the announcements today after a meeting of the Union Cabinet which deliberated on the Parliament session. "We are studying various precedents while discussing the issue. There is still time to take that call," Naidu said when asked whether Congress would be given the post of the Leader of Opposition despite it not having the requisite numbers.
"We have not zeroed in on anyone. We don't want to zero in anyone," he said when asked whether any name has been shortlisted for the post of the Speaker.
The session of Parliament could be extended by a day depending on the business, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister said. The Motion of Thanks to the President's Address will be taken up on May 10 and 11 in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, respectively. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will reply to it.
On the question of who would be the Leader of Opposition (LoP), Naidu kept on the suspense, saying it is being studied. "We are studying various precedents. We are discussing the issue. There is still time to take a call," he said. The question of LoP status, a Cabinet-rank position, has arisen as no party got the minimum required 10 per cent of seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha in this election. Congress was the nearest with 44 seats, at least 10 short of the required number.
Asked whether the government would consider a Deputy Speaker from a "coalition" of AIADMK, TMC and BJD if they come together, Naidu was evasive. "So far, there has been a practice of having a coalition of the government. There has been no practice of having a coalition of the opposition parties. We will see what precedents say," he said.
On the issue of legislations, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister said he was in the process of identifying the bill which have been pending, or lapsed or which are pending in the Rajya Sabha after passage in the Lok Sabha. He made it clear that the legislative agenda would not be taken up in this session, unless urgently required, as this was going to be a "short" session meant basically for taking of oath of the new Lok Sabha members and electing of a Speaker.
Naidu, who is also Urban Development Minister responsible for allocating bungalows and flats to Ministers and MPs, requested former Ministers and MPs to vacate their official premises at the earliest so that new ones could move in.