Not a hot seat: Rahul relegated to second row in Lok Sabha

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 31, 2019 Published on July 31, 2019

File pic of Rahul Gandhi

The new seating arrangement in the House indicates the political power shift

As per the seating arrangement announced for the newly elected members of the 17th Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi occupied the first seat in the first row. The former president of Congress, Rahul Gandhi, was assigned the 466th seat in the second row.

The seat allocation indicates the power structure and stature of the legislators.

The division numbers of the MPs announced by the Lok Sabha secretariat is indicative of the new order, with majority of the front row benches, based on the strength in the House, allocated to senior MPs and Ministers in the BJP-led NDA. There is a decline in the presence of the Opposition MPs in the front row.

The seat on the right of the Speaker, as always, will be occupied by the Prime Minister, with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on seat number two, followed by Home Minister Amit Shah on three, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari at four and DV Sadananda Gowda at number five.

From the Opposition, the first seat on the Left of the Speaker in the front row is vacant in the absence of a Deputy Speaker. Congress’ Leader of the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury occupies the seat immediately next at number 458th. Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, too, is in the front row at seat number 457 along with former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and TR Baalu of the DMK.

Rahul Gandhi’s diminished stature is evident as he has been allotted the 466th seat in the second row — right behind the seat in the front row meant for the Deputy Speaker. Party MPs Shashi Tharoor also occupies the second row along with DMK MPs Kanimozhi and A Raja.

Seats in the Lok Sabha are allotted by the Speaker under Rule 4 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business. The Speaker is guided by direction 22(a) which states that ‘the allotment of bloc of seats in the House is in proportion to the strength of the party and the total number of seats available in the chamber.’

Published on July 31, 2019
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