NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today freely mingled with leaders of various opposition parties as he attended the Rajya Sabha proceedings.
Modi arrived few minutes before the Upper House proceedings began and went around greeting opposition leaders seated in the front rows. He greeted Congress leaders A K Antony, Anand Sharma and Pramod Tiwari, as well as Mayawati and Satish Mishra of BSP.
He shook hands with Dilip Kumar Tikey of BJD and greeted Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (TMC). He then moved into aisle where he met Left leaders including Sitaram Yechury and T K Rangarajan.
Modi had a brief but an animated chat with Yechury during which he also placed his arm on his shoulder as well as that of Ramaswamy. As the House proceedings began, the Prime Minister sat at his designated seat next to the Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
He was in the House when five new members including Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Swapan Dasgupta and Subramanian Swamy took oath or affirmation of allegiance to the Constitution.
Members after taking oath greeted him with folded hands and he warmly acknowledged their greetings. Modi left the House immediately after the oath ceremony ended. While Dhindsa took oath in Punjabi, Dasgupta used his mother-tongue Bengali to take oath. Swamy chose English for the purpose.
Olympic medalist boxer M C Mary Kom and Narendra Jadhav, member or erstwhile National Advisory Council (NAC) headed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, also took oath.
The government had last week nominated Swamy, former cricketer-turned-politican Navjot Singh Sidhu, Jadhav and Kom to the Upper House. Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi and journalist Dasgupta and Kom were also nominated.
Sidhu and Gopi are yet to take oath.