After elections, Modi demands “consensus” as the Indian parliament convenes.


After elections, Modi demands “consensus” as the Indian parliament convenes.

Monday, as parliament convened after an electoral defeat that compelled him to form a coalition government for the first time in ten years, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an appeal for “consensus” to a resurgent opposition.

After elections, Modi demands "consensus" as the Indian parliament convenes.

The first session, which runs till July 3, is anticipated to include an outline of Modi’s ambitions for a third term as well as the formal nomination of Rahul Gandhi to lead the opposition, a position that has been unfilled since 2014.

After his right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won landslide victories in both of his previous stints in office, Modi’s government was able to ram bills through parliament with little to no debate.

Analysts now anticipate that in order to appease his coalition partners, the 73-year-old will tone down his Hindu-nationalist agenda and instead concentrate on economic reforms, social welfare, and infrastructure.

Shortly before taking office, Modi made the statement, “To run the country, a consensus is of utmost importance,” encouraging the opposition to engage positively.

“People don’t expect disruptions or impediments in the parliamentary proceedings; they expect their representatives to debate and discuss issues which are important to the country,” he stated. “Substance, not slogans, is what people want.”

As opposition members hoisted the constitution in protest and ecstatic fans pounded their desks in support, Modi led MPs in taking the oath. He expressed his pride in serving India.

On Monday, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Kiren Rijiju called for a “peaceful and productive” session; nevertheless, the Indian media predicted a heated discussion with a significantly more formidable opposition.

One headline in The Hindustan Times on Monday said, “All set to spar.” The front page of The Indian Express further stated, “Resurgent opposition set to push government.”

The Congress party saw its finest result since Modi was swept to power ten years ago when Rahul Gandhi, 54, nearly doubled its parliamentary numbers, defying analyst projections.

Gandhi is the son, grandson, and great-grandson of former prime ministers, starting with independence leader Jawaharlal Nehru, and the heir of a dynasty that ruled Indian politics for decades.

According to parliamentary rules, the leader of the opposition must represent a party that has a minimum of 10% of the 543 members in the lower house of representatives.

The position has been unfilled for ten years because Congress, which was previously the majority party in India, failed to meet the requirements in two disappointing election cycles.

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