The PM said it would have been a matter of happiness had the induction of ministers from less privileged backgrounds been greeted, but some people are not ready to appreciate their progress. Later, defence minister Rajnath Singh objected to the uproar and said this was the first time he had seen a Prime Minister not being allowed to introduce his new ministers. Opposition leaders like Congress’s Manish Tewari disputed the claim and said former PM Manmohan Singh had faced similar hurdles in Parliament.
“In my last 24 years of parliamentary life, I have not seen a single instance where the PM could not introduce his council of ministers. It is sad, unfortunate and most unhealthy,” Singh said in the Lok Sabha.
The House was adjourned till 2pm as Congress MPs continued slogan shouting even after repeated warnings of the Speaker. The House was adjourned again and resumed at 3.30 and after a few minutes was adjourned for the day.
Modi’s focus on the social background of his new team was in keeping with BJP’s plan to highlight the increase in the representation for non-upper caste sections.
Earlier, in his initial remarks before the start of the session, the PM urged all MPs and parties to ask the most difficult and sharpest questions but also allow the government to respond in a disciplined environment. Modi said this would boost democracy, strengthen people’s trust and improve pace of development.
The PM said he has urged all floor leaders to take time out on Tuesday evening as he would like to provide detailed information regarding the pandemic. “We want discussion inside Parliament as well with the floor leaders outside,” the PM said, responding to criticism that he should not speak in the Parliament annexe.
Modi said, “I hope all of you have been vaccinated at least once. But even then, I pray to all of you and my colleagues in the House to cooperate in following corona protocols. Vaccine is given in ‘baahu’ (arms) and those who take it become ‘Baahubali’. The only way to become Baahubali in the fight against corona is to get vaccinated.”
He said over 40 crore people have become ‘Baahubalis’. “It (vaccine drive) is being taken forward rapidly. The pandemic has gripped the entire world, the entire human race. Therefore, we want meaningful debates in the Parliament over the pandemic. It should be given the highest priority so that we get all the practical suggestions from all the honorable MPs so that there can be a lot of innovation in the fight against the pandemic. If there are some shortcomings, then they can be rectified and we can move forward together in this fight,” Modi said.