NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday greeted Opposition members, including Congress President Sonia Gandhi, in the Lok Sabha before the start of proceedings at the beginning of Parliament's monsoon session.
Modi, who came about five minutes before the house proceedings began, walked up to the Opposition benches and greeted leaders who were seated in the front row.
They included former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, Leader of Congress in the House Mallikarjun Kharge, and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai, apart from Sonia Gandhi.
While he shook hands with Gowda, Yadav, Kharge and Thambidurai, he greeted Sonia Gandhi with folded hands. He also spoke to Kharge and Yadav briefly.
Seeing Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia in the second row, he also greeted them.
Soon after entering the house, Modi greeted the members with folded hands. Lok Janshakti Party member Ramchandra Paswan touched Modi's feet in a gesture of respect.
BJP members stood up when Modi entered the house and took their seats only after he had done so.
Earlier in the day, addressing the media, Modi urged all parties to work in the interest of the nation.
He expressed hope that all the parliamentarians would engage in quality debate during the over three-week long monsoon session in the interest of the nation.
"This monsoon session is very important in many ways as the country will elect its new President," Modi said after arriving at Parliament to cast his vote in the presidential poll.
Modi said: "GST shows the good that can be achieved when all parties come together and work for the nation. The GST spirit is about growing stronger together. I hope the same GST spirit prevails in the session."
He said like monsoon brings hope, "this session also brings same spirit of hope".