March 20, 2012 3:15:46 am
All the newly-elected MLAs,barring one,Navjot Kaur Sidhu of Amritsar (East),took oath on Monday on the first day of the opening session of the 14th Legislative Assembly of Punjab.
The BJP MLA,who is the wife of cricketer-turn-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu,was absent. Sources said that she was unwell. However,there has been no word from either the MLA or her husband.
Pro tem Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal administered the oath to all the newly elected MLAs and the ceremony began with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal,also the Leader of the House,taking oath. He was followed by Deputy Chief Minister and son Sukhbir Singh Badal,Leader of Opposition Sunil Kumar Jhakar and cabinet ministers. Most of the MLAs took oath in Punjabi.
Then was the turn of all the 14 women MLAs. While Farzana Khatoon,the SAD MLA from Malerkotla,took oath in Urdu,both Charanjit Kaur Bajwa and Karan Brar of the Congress took oath in English. BJPs Seema Kumar took oath in Hindi. Brar,however,walked bare foot to take oath.
From the Speakers visitors gallery,three MPs Harshimrat Kaur Badal,Paramjit Kaur Gulshan and Partap Singh Bajwa watched their spouses taking oath as MLAs. Also Tej Parkash,former minister,was sitting in the gallery to watch his son Gurkirat Singh take the oath as MLA.
The session started on a positive note with the members cutting across party lines exchanging pleasantries and some even touched the feet of 84-year-old Parkash Singh Badal. Almost all the legislators shook hands with Sukhbir while going to the Speaker to take oath.
When state Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh went to take oath the whole house,including the treasury benches,thumped their desks as in the case of the Badals. The noise of thumping was louder when Congress MLA and singer Mohammed Sadique went to take oath.
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