New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday walked over to the opposition benches and greeted Sonia Gandhi and other leaders with folded hands as the members, a majority of them newcomers, assembled for the first time in the 16th Lok Sabha, but the celebratory mood was tinged with sadness at the loss of a member and minister.
Modi, who came in barely minutes before the proceedings began for the day, went around the front rows greeting leaders with folded hands. As he neared the Congress benches, Congress president Sonia Gandhi walked into the house and the two leaders exchanged greetings briefly.
Modi, whose act of bowing his forehead and touching the steps of parliament May 20 before his election as BJP parliamentary party leader was widely noticed and commented upon, sought to reach out to the opposition Wednesday through his gestures.
He occupied his seat on the treasury benches in his new role as prime minister and leader of BJP parliamentary party after greeting opposition leaders, including Mallikarjun Kharge and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Earlier, BJP and NDA members stood up and some even thumped their desks as Modi entered the Lok Sabha. As he went along the front rows, more members stood up in their seats.