Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the first to take oath in the new Lok Sabha on Monday while United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi might get a special slot to do so over the two-day-long swearing-in ceremony, officials said on Sunday.
The inaugural session of the 17th Lok Sabha will start on Monday with the swearing in of its members. After getting elected to the House, members have to take the oath before any other business, including the election of the Speaker, takes place.
As per the rules, the Prime Minister as the leader of the House takes oath first. The council of ministers follows the Prime Minister in taking the oath. As long as a member does not take the oath, he or she cannot participate in any business of the House.
“During the [Congress-led] UPA era, the PM [Prime Minister Manmohan Singh] belonged to the other [upper] House [Rajya Sabha]. So, the leader of the House took oath first. But this time, Modi is the Prime Minister and the leader of the House,” said a Lok Sabha official.
In 2014, BJP veteran L K Advani and Sonia Gandhi took oath right after the ministers, keeping in mind their stature and senior positions. “This year, Advani did not contest the election. A decision on when the UPA chairperson should take the oath would be taken on Monday morning,” said another official.
Other members of Parliament (MPs) are invited to take the oath in the alphabetical order of the states they come from after the Prime Minister and ministers are sworn in. Within a state, too, the MPs would be called in an alphabetical order of their names to avoid any confusion. “In this order, Andaman and Nicobar comes first followed by Andhra Pradesh and then Arunachal Pradesh,” said a third official.
The Lok Sabha Secretariat has for the first time provided online formats of the oath or affirmation in all 22 languages in which the members can take the oath. “They can take oath in any language but if it is not Hindi or English, they need to give advance notice to the Lok Sabha secretariat,” said another official.
The secretariat has reiterated that MPs should only read from the official draft of the oath. As drafts are available online, it has requested MPs not to add any word or change any sentence. This is been done as a precautionary measure. The MPs take oath either in the name of God or the Constitution.