From veterans like Sharad Pawar, Mallikarjun Kharge and Digvijaya Singh to first-timers such as Priyanka Chaturvedi and Shaktisinh Gohil, 45 newly-elected members of Rajya Sabha took oath on Wednesday in a ceremony held for the first time in the Rajya Sabha chambers during the inter-session period.
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu urged the members to uphold rules and procedures while discharging their duties as lawmakers and not fall prey to disruptions.
The oath is usually administered to newly-elected members either during the session or in the chamber of the Chairman if the House is not in session. But since the Monsoon Session has been delayed due to the pandemic, the members were administered oath so that they can participate in meetings of Standing Committees, which resumed this month. The members will be nominated to committees in a day or two.
Among those who took the oath are 36 first-timers. Some of the re-elected members are NCP chief Pawar, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh, Union minister Ramdas Athawale and Congress’s Digvijaya Singh. The BJP’s Jyotiraditya Scindia and Congress’s Kharge, K C Venugopal, Rajeev Satav and Deepinder Singh Hooda — who were members of the Lok Sabha earlier — were among the first-time members.
Scindia and Digvijaya greeted each other. Scindia’s exit from the Congress in March was because of differences with Digvijaya and the then Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath. Scindia also greeted Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad.
After the ceremony, Chairman Naidu urged MPs not to fall prey to the temptation of disrupting proceedings of the House for “short-term gains”. “Ensuring rule of law is the spirit of our law of the land (Constitution). It shall begin with your compliance with the rules and procedures of this House.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with the newly-elected BJP MPs after they took oath, later tweeting, “Had an excellent interaction with the newly elected @BJP4India Rajya Sabha MPs. It was wonderful to hear their views and passion towards public service. This is a group of MPs who are diverse and will certainly make effective contributions to Parliamentary proceedings.”
“Urged MPs to keep themselves updated with latest policy issues. Also emphasised on being effective on the floor of the House as well as in the field, among people. Reiterated the need for constant people connect and embracing latest technology as well as social media,” he wrote in another tweet.
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