‘Won’t assist pro-tem Speaker’: Opposition after President administers oath to Mahtab

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NEW DELHI: President Droupadi Murmu on Monday administered oath to pro tem Speaker Bhartruhari Mahtab who will administer oath to 280 newly elected MPs on Monday and Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the opposition INDIA bloc decided to boycott the panel appointed to assist Mahtab during the two-day oath administration to new MPs.

The opposition led by the Congress said this was being done in protest against the government call to ignore their eight-term MP K Suresh as pro-tem Speaker.

The Congress accused the government of ignoring Suresh “because he is a Dalit”.

“The INDIA bloc has decided to boycott the speaker panel. We will not assist the speaker,” Suresh said after opposition MPs assembled to discuss the matter.

The panel for assisting Mahtab included Suresh from the Congress, TR Baalu from the DMK and Sudip Bandopadhyay from the TMC.

Union parliamentary affairs minister Kiren Rijiju said the opposition was raising non-issues instead of cooperating to run Parliament.

“Pro-tem speaker was never an issue,” said Rijiju.