NEW DELHI: The first session of the 17th Lok Sabha began with lawmakers, donning colourful attires, taking oath amid cheering and jeering. The biggest applause was for Amethi MP Smriti Irani while ruckus prevailed when Pragya Thakur took the oath.
The country’s linguistic diversity was also on display as members took oath in Hindi, English, Sanskrit and various regional languages.
The atmosphere in the Lower House looked festive as the newly elected MPs, many of them wearing traditional shawls and headgears entered the House. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first to take oath amid loud cheers and chants of “Modi, Modi”.
BJP members, including the PM and other senior leaders, were seen enthusiastically thumping the desk for a long time after Irani took oath in Hindi. She greeted pro-tem Speaker Virendra Kumar and also opposition leaders, including Rahul Gandhi’s mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who reciprocated her gesture with a ‘namaste’.
However, the House saw noisy scenes as Pragya suffixed the name of her guru Poorn Chetnand Avdheshanand Giri to hers while taking oath in Sanskrit. Opposition benches objected, saying it was not allowed under the rules.
Amid noisy protests, Pragya insisted that the suffix was part of her full name. Pro-tem Speaker Virendra Kumar sought to know from the Lok Sabha Secretary General her full name as submitted in the records and ruled that only the name written in her election certificate issued by the returning officer would go on record. After two interruptions, Pragya finally completed her oath of duty in the third attempt.
West Bengal’s lawmakers Babul Supriyo and Debasree Chaudhuri were greeted with chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’. While PM Modi, home minister Amit Shah and defence minister Rajnath Singh took oath in Hindi, health minister Harsh Vardhan and ministers of state Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Pratap Chandra Sarangi took oath in Sanskrit.
Mother tongue rules
D V Sadananda Gowda and Prahlad Joshi took oath in Kannada, Harsimrat Kaur Badal in Punjabi, R P Danbe and A G Sawant in Marathi, Jitendra Singh in Dogri, A K Yadav and Gopaljee Thakur in Maithili and Rameshwar Teli took oath in Assamese