India’s linguistic, sartorial diversity on display

Our Bureau Agencies New Delhi | Updated on November 24, 2017 Published on June 05, 2014

In step: BJP MP Devji Bhai at Parliament House in New Delhi on Thursday. - KAMAL NARANG

BJP MP Hema Malini at Parliament House in New Delhi on Thursday. - RV MOORTHY

Lok Sabha members take oath; senior leader Sumitra Mahajan to be new Speaker

A festive atmosphere and bonhomie prevailed in the Lok Sabha on Thursday with members donning traditional dress and head gears and many taking oath in their mother tongue.

Among those who took oath in the session on Thursday chaired by pro tem Speaker Kamal Nath were Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Cabinet colleagues and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Donning a crisp white churidar-kurta and Nehru jacket, Modi took his oath in Hindi, greeted by thumping of desks by his party colleagues.

However, most other members, cutting across party lines, preferred to take their oath in their mother tongues. Sonia Gandhi, Ashok Gajapati Raju of Telugu Desam and Sudip Bandopadhyaya of Trinamool Congress, however, opted to take their oath in Hindi.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj took her oath in Sanskrit. Some other BJP leaders such as Uma Bharti and Harsh Vardhan followed her lead. The two Muslim MPs from Assam — Badruddin Ajmal and Sirajuddin Ajmal of the All India United Demorcatic Front — took their oath in English.

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi also took oath in English. Her sister-in-law Sonia was seen thumping the desk when she took oath.

Earlier, senior members Arjun Charan Sethi (Biju Janata Dal), PA Sangma (National Peoples Party) and Biren Singh Engti (Congress) were appointed on the panel of chairpersons by the President to help the pro tem Speaker in the oath-taking process.

Mahajan nomination

Senior BJP leader Sumitra Mahajan will be the next speaker of the Lok Sabha, becoming the second woman after Meira Kumar to hold the post.

Mahajan’s was the only name proposed when the time for filing nominations for the speaker’s post came to a close on Thursday.

She filed her nomination with support from all parties in the Lower House, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said. “Yes, she has filed her nominations and the elections will take place around afternoon tomorrow (Friday),” Naidu said.

According to sources, the Deputy Speaker’s post is likely to go to the AIADMK.

That 315 of the elected MPs are new was quite evident as many of them were being guided by their seniors or the House staff. The oath-taking ceremony also saw quite a few absentees and late-comers, such as Paapu Yadav, his wife Ranjeet Ranjan (Bihar) and Moon Moon Sen (Bengal).

Devjibhai Fatehpura, BJP MP from Surendranagar, Gujarat, performed a traditional dance before entering Parliament. He was also dressed in traditional Gujarati attire when he showed up for his oath-taking ceremony.

Film-star-turned-MPs Hema Malini, Kirron Kher and Shatabdi Roy (TMC) looked radiant in their bright saris and salwar suits. For Nanabhau Falgunrao Patole of the BJP, the oath-taking was special as it coincided with his birthday. BJP member from Bihar, Hukum Deo Narayan Yadav, removed his footwear before taking oath.

Rahul Gandhi, who seems to have taken a fancy for the back seat, was seen having a lengthy conversation with NCP leader Supriya Sule.

Seating arrangement

The seating arrangement will be finalised once the new Speaker takes charge, sources added.

On Wednesday, BJP veteran Advani was seen sitting next to the Prime Minister. Interestingly, on Thursday, when he walked in, senior colleagues Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth Kumar insisted that he sit in the first row and were seen persuading him to take the seat next to the PM, but Advani seemed quite reluctant.

However, he did move to the front row and place himself between Lok Janshakti Party leader Ramvilas Paswan and Swaraj.

On June 9, President Pranab Mukherjee will address the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament, laying down the roadmap of the new government and the discussion on the Motion of Thanks will take place on June 10 and 11 before the session is adjourned sine die. The Rajya Sabha will convene on June 9.

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Published on June 05, 2014
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