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Protests force RS to ‘revisit’ new uniform for marshals

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 19, 2019 Published on November 19, 2019

A marshal in new uniform at Parliament during its ongoing Winter Session, in New Delhi, on Tuesday. Earlier, the Marshals used to wear the ‘bandhgalas’ during the winter along with turbans   -  PTI

Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu has directed the Upper House Secretariat to “revisit” the decision to change the uniform of the watch and ward staff. Members and veterans had objected to the new uniform of marshals as it looked like a military uniform.

Redesign ordered

On Tuesday, Naidu announced in the House that members and others from outside the House had raised certain objections to the new uniform, designed by the Secretariat. In the wake of such complaints, he had asked the Secretariat to revisit the design.

“The Secretariat of the Rajya Sabha, after considering the various suggestions, have come out with a new dress code for the Marshals. But, we have received some observations by some political as well as some well meaning people. So, I have decided to ask the Secretariat to revisit the same, and then take a conclusive decision,” Naidu said in the House.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had objected to the design on Monday, but he was not allowed to raise the matter inside the House.

Defence personnel

Apart from that, the decision created a discussion in public domains such as social media. Many veteran defence personnel also expressed their views against the decision publicly. Former Chief of Army VP Malik urged the Vice-President’s Office, Rajya Sabha secretariat and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to take “early action” on the issue.

“Copying and wearing of military uniforms by non-military personnel is illegal and a security hazard,” he said in Twitter. He later thanked Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar for promptly taking up the uniform issue with the Chairman. Union Minister and Malik’s successor Vijay Kumar Singh had also termed the move as “illegal”.

Former Rajya Sabha Secretary General VK Agnihotri, however, welcomed the change. “They looked smart. It was high time that they changed their colonial uniform,” Agnihotri said.

Published on November 19, 2019
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