Bhopal: After the furore over the singing of Vande Mataram, the first session of the newly-elected Madhya Pradesh Assembly will begin from Monday, January 7. The session will last for five days with MLAs being administered oath on January 7 and 8, an Assembly Secretariat official said. (Also read: Not Just Vande Mataram, National Anthem Will Also be Sung, Says CM)

The Speaker will be elected on January 8 and the MP Governor will address the House on the same day, the official added. The Congress has announced the candidature of Gotegaon MLA Narmada Prasad Prajapati for the post of Speaker.

The BJP is likely to announce its Leader of Opposition in the Assembly on Monday. A series of meetings was conducted in Bhopal on Sunday where former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was conspicuous by his absence. The party has reportedly appointed observers to select leaders of opposition in three states it recently lost to the Congress. For Madhya Pradesh, senior leaders Rajnath Singh and Vinay Sahasrabudhhe have been appointed as the observers.

Meanwhile, the BJP MLAs, led by Chouhan, will be reciting the national song at the Mantralaya. The row over discontinuing the practice of singing of ‘Vande Mataram’ in the Secretariat escalated when the news surfaced that the ruling Congress had stopped the decade-old practice.  While Chief Minister Kamal Nath assured he would bring it back in a new ‘roop’, Chouhan announced that he will recite it along with 109 BJP MLAs on January 7. After the recitation, the MLAs will take oath in the assembly.

Nath had said, “I’ve been saying from the start that I’ll give it a different look, I’ve announced it.” The Madhya Pradesh government decided to restore singing of Vande Mataram at the state Secretariat from next month but in a new avatar by roping in a police band and locals besides adding the national anthem to the exercise.