n the first day of the inaugural session of the 17th Lok Sabha on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said a vibrant Opposition, notwithstanding whatever its numbers are, is important in a parliamentary democracy.

The day was spent with members, starting from the PM and the Union Cabinet, taking oath as MPs. The Lok Sabha is set to spend the next two days with the process of all MPs taking the oath.

A Teaser

BJP members raised Bharat Mata Ki Jai slogan after oath taking by every party member, thus, teasing the Opposition. After the BJP’s Gajendra Umrao Singh Patel completed his oath with Bharat Mata Ki Jai, N K Premchandran of the Revolutionary Socialist Party urged the Pro tem Speaker to maintain the prescribed format of the oath, a demand which he allowed.

Linguistic Diversity

Union ministers Harsh Vardhan, Sripad Yesso Naik, Pratap Chandra Sarangi and Ashwini Choubey were among nearly dozen members who took oath in Sanskrit. Several MPs took the oath in their respective mother tongues. Congress M P K Suresh (from Mavelikkara in Kerala) took the oath in Hindi, while Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who is an MP from Kerala’s Wayanad, took the oath in English. Gandhi had taken the oath in Hindi in 2014 when he was an MP from UP’s Amethi.

Echoes of Jai Shri Ram

BJP MPs greeted Union ministers Babul Supriyo and Debashree Choudhury, who are from West Bengal, with cries of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ when the two were called to take the oath. It was a dig at West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, who has apparently been upset at people raising that slogan.

The Longest Applause

Union Minister Smriti Irani, who defeated Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, received the longest applause when she took the oath. Even the PM and Home Minister Amit Shah enthusiastically thumped the desk for a long time.