Indian parliament adjourned on opening day

First session of new Lok Sabha lasts for few minutes after paying tribute to federal minister who died in road accident.

    Indian parliament adjourned on opening day
    Federal Minister Gopinath Munde of the BJP has died in a car accident [AP]

    The first session of India's newly elected parliament lasted only minutes as legislators adjourned in a mark of respect for federal Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde, who died in a car crash on Tuesday morning.

    The process of swearing-in the 543 members of the lower House or the Lok Sabha has been pushed back to Thursday as members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) attend Munde's funeral.

    Interim speaker, Kamal Nath, read a brief tribute to Munde before members observed a two-minute silence.

    "The house stands adjourned to meet tomorrow on June 5 at 11:00 am", Nath then said.

    In brief comments before he entered parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to "fulfil the dreams" of the people of India who have given his party the first parliamentary majority in 30 years.

    "I assure the people of this country that in the temple of democracy we will work hard to fulfil the dreams and aspirations of the common man in India," said Modi.

    It is the first time Modi has been elected to parliament, as the representative from the holy city of Varanasi.

    The oath-taking process is expected to last until Friday afternoon when a vote will be held to elect a new Speaker of the lower House, with veteran BJP representative Sumitra Mahajan seen as the frontrunner.

    President Pranab Mukherjee is expected to address a combined session of the two Houses of parliament on Monday.

    Parliament is expected to be adjourned on June 11 for several weeks as the Modi government draws up a new budget.

    SOURCE: AFP


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