NEW DELHI: First day of the 17th Lok Sabha saw cheering and jeering while the new members were taking an oath. Union Minister Smriti Irani received the longest applause when she took oath as a member of the 17th Lok Sabha on Monday. On the contrast, ruckus prevailed while Pragya Singh Thakur took the oath.
The first day also witnessed linguistic diversity as members were found taking oath in different languages including Sanskrit, Hindi, English and various regional languages.
The atmosphere in the Lower House of the parliament looked festive as lawmakers decked up in colourful attire, traditional shawls and headgears entered the House for swearing in.
PM Narendra Modi took oath amid loud cheers and chants of "Modi, Modi. However, longest applause was reserved for union minister Smriti Irani. BJP members including the PM and other senior leaders were seen enthusiastically thumping the desk for a long time while she was taking oath.
After taking oath in Hindi, Smriti Irani greeted pro-tem Speaker Virendra Kumar and also opposition leaders, including Rahul Gandhi's mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who reciprocated the greetings with a namaste gesture.
However, the House saw noisy scenes as Pragya Singh Thakur took name of her guru while taking oath in Sanskrit. She begun saying, “I...Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur Poorn Chetnand Avdheshanand Giri", which the Opposition members objected to saying she modified the wordings of oath. They said the name of her guru, Swami Avdheshanand Giri was not mentioned in the record that she submitted in the election affidavit and taking that name is not allowed under the rules.
Pro-tem Speaker Virendra Kumar said he will get the record verified and take cognizance accordingly. Finally, after two interruptions, Pragya Thakur completed her oath of duty in the third attempt.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi forgot to sign the parliament register and got to it only after being reminded by officials and several lawmakers including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. After taking oath, he began walking away towards his seat when he was reminded of the necessary signature. He then signed the register and walked back to applause from his party members including mother Sonia Gandhi.
Similarly, West Bengal’s lawmakers Babul Supriyo and Debasree Chaudhuri were greeted with chants of ‘Jai Shree Ram’. The Jai Shree Ram chants came as a marker of the BJP's growing reign in West Bengal. Recently, the chants of Jai Shree Ram led to controversies in the State with many people reportedly detained in the State.
Linguistic diversity was visible in the House while members took oath on Monday. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh took oath in Hindi, some members of parliament (MPs) preferred to do so in various regional languages. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, completed his oath in Sanskrit.
Ministers of State Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Pratap Chandra Sarangi also took the oath in Sanskrit. Pralhad Joshi and Sadananda Gowda, both hailing from Karnataka, took their oaths in Kannada. Rameshwar Teli, Kripanath Mallah, and Naba Kumar Saranai took oaths in Assamese.