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PM Narendra Modi is greeted by Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi. Image Credit: PTI

New Delhi: On the first day of the 17th Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the Opposition not to bother about their numbers, telling them to “speak actively and participate” in House proceedings.

Ahead of the first session of the new Lok Sabha, Modi said the role of an “Opposition and an active Opposition is important in a parliamentary democracy”.

“The Opposition need not bother about their numbers. I hope they speak actively and participate in house proceedings,” Modi told the media.

He also urged parliamentarians to work for the benefit of the nation in an impartial way.

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Gopal Jee Thakur (left) and Ashok Kumar Yadav with Minister of State Ashwini Kumar Choubey (centre). Image Credit: PTI

Festive atmosphere prevailed in Parliament on the first day of the 17th Lok Sabha session Monday with many of the newly-elected members seen in colourful attire, traditional shawls and headgear besides a section in saffron.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah were in their regular dress of Kurta, Pyjama and half-sleeve jacket, Union Ministers Prahlad Joshi, Giriraj Singh and G.K. Reddy attended the session sporting saffron attire or half jacket.

Bihar MPs Gopal Jee Thakur and Ashok Kumar Yadav came in traditional Maithil attire and headgear, while most of the Assam MPs were donning the traditional Assamese ‘gamocha’, considered a symbol of the states’s culture.

YSR Congress MPs from Andhra Pradesh were sporting the ‘Angavastram’ dotted with picture of party President and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

BJP’s Bhopal MP Pragya Singh Thakur was seen in her trademark saffron robe while Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal was wearing the traditional Rajasthani saffron and green headgear as part of the dress.

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Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, her husband and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Singh Badal and their children. Image Credit: PTI

Arunachal Pradesh MP Tapir Gao wore the traditional blue Arunachali jacket.
Linguistic diversity was witnessed in the Lok Sabha as newly elected members took oath in English as well as different Indian languages, including Sanskrit.

While most MPs chose Hindi, Harsh Vardhan and Meenakshi Lekhi (both MPs from Delhi) as well as first-timer Pratap Chandra Sarangi took the oath in Sanskrit.

Harsimrat Kaur Badal took the oath in Punjabi, Arvind Sawant in Marathi, D.V. Sadanand Gowda in Kannada and Bhartruhari Mahtab in Odia. Udhampur MP Jitendra Singh preferred Dogri.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, and Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani took the oath in Hindi.

Congress member Kodikunnil Suresh from Kerala surprised everyone by taking the oath in Hindi, triggering thumping of desks by mainly Hindi-speaking members.

The first session of the 17th Lok Sabha began on Monday with pro tem Speaker Virendra Singh administering the oath to members. The oath taking will continue on Tuesday.