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    45 newly-elected Rajya Sabha members take oath; Naidu urges them to uphold rules

    Synopsis

    Forty-five out of the 61 newly elected Rajya Sabha members took oath in the House chamber on Wednesday amid unprecedented scenes as social distancing norms were followed strictly and only a few senior leaders, besides those taking oath, were allowed to attend the event.

    PTI
    New Delhi: Forty-five out of the 61 newly elected Rajya Sabha members took oath in the House chamber on Wednesday amid unprecedented scenes as social distancing norms were followed strictly and only a few senior leaders, besides those taking oath, were allowed to attend the event. The members took oath in the presence of Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, who had decided to go ahead with it as the newly elected MPs cannot attend parliamentary committee meetings without it.

    Prominent among those who took oath or affirmation were Jyotiraditya Scindia (BJP); Sharad Pawar (NCP); Harivansh (JDU); Mallikarjun Kharge, Digvijaya Singh, KC Venugopal, Deepender Singh Hooda, Shaktisinh Gohil and Rajiv Satav of Congress; Priyanka Chaturvedi (Shiv Sena); Ramdas Athavale (RPI-A); Bubaneswar Kalita and Narhari Amin of BJP; M Thamidurai and GK Vasan of the AIADMK; KTS Tulsi and Nabam Rebia. Before the oath-taking ceremony, Scindia walked up to the opposition benches and greeted the leader of the opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, who patted him on the back, and Kharge. Scindia’s bete noire Digvijaya Singh took oath after him.

    Though Congress tally has dwindled in the Upper House, it has got some of its prominent faces in this time. Kharge was the Congress floor leader in the 2014-19 Lok Sabha, while Venugopal is party general secretary (organisation). Other first-time members from the party, namely Gohil, Hooda and Satav, have an important place in the party. Several members took oath in their mother tongue and overall oaths were taken in 10 Indian languages. Chaturvedi took oath in Marathi, while Pawar chose to take the oath in Hindi.

    The Rajya Sabha was treated as a chamber of the VP for the ceremony. As per the norm, the oath or affirmation is taken in the VP’s chamber when the House is not in session. Members taking oath did not walk up to the presiding officer to greet him. The register was also kept separately with pens for members to sign. Naidu asked members to take the pen with them to avoid any possibility of infection. Hooda and Venugopal wore gloves as did the Rajya Sabha secretariat officials.

    Parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi, leader of the House Thawar Chand Gehlot, MoSs Arjun Meghwal and V Muraleedharan were also present. Those who could not take oath will do so when the House meets for the monsoon session.
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