A week after their military-style uniforms drew criticism from various quarters, Rajya Sabha marshals on Monday were again back in traditional Indian attire but without a ‘pagri’.
The marshals were seen wearing dark coloured Indian bandhgalas, a dress that a Congress member remarked was “very smart,” news agency PTI reported.
The uniform of half-a-dozen marshals, who assist Presiding Officers of the Upper House in conducting proceedings, was changed at the start of the Winter Session. From safari suit and turban in summer and dark bandhgalas in winter, the uniform was changed to a blue suit with a peaked cap.
The change drew criticism from several quarters, including former Army chief General Ved Prakash Malik. “Copying and wearing of military uniforms by non-military personnel is illegal and a security hazard. I hope @VPSecretariat, @RajyaSabha & @rajnathsingh ji will take early action,” tweeted the former Army chief. On Wednesday, during the Question Hour, Congress MP Jairam Ramesh said, “Sir, I have been trying to draw the attention, but I think the cap is obstructing the vision. You are not able to see my hand.”
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While the dress code of the marshals had changed, the uniform of nearly a dozen ushers who stand at the back of each row to fetch papers and assist MPs had remained unchanged. They had continued to don Indian attire with a pointed pagri or headgear.
According to sources in Rajya Sabha secretariat, the uniform was changed after a longstanding demand of marshals who resented the fact that despite being gazetted officers, there was nothing in their uniform to distinguish them from chamber attendants, who are lower-ranked officials. The turban was also thought to be cumbersome, said the sources.