NEW DELHI: Four new members of Rajya Sabha, including Swapan Dasgupta and Mahesh Jethmalani, took oath on Tuesday, with Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu noting that the public representatives have a great role to play during the challenging times of the ongoing pandemic.
The other two members were John Brittas (CPI-M) and V Sivadasan (CPI-M), both elected from Kerala.
Dasgupta, who had quit his membership to contest the West Bengal Assembly election, and eminent lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani are both nominated.
Sivadasan took oath in Malayalam, while others chose English.
Congratulating the new members, the chairman said the oath-taking ceremony is usually held in his chamber but was held in the Rajya Sabha chamber due to the prevailing pandemic situation while adhering to Covid-appropriate behaviour.
"The oath or affirmation has been arranged now as the convening of the next session will take some time," the Chairman noted.
While the Monsoon session is due to be held in July, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi told PTI on Tuesday that the government is hopeful it will begin on its normal schedule.
After administering oath to the members, Naidu said as representatives of the people "we have a great role to play during the ongoing pandemic and these challenging times have presented themselves with the problems that required coordinated effort from different entities".
The Chairman advised members, particularly the new ones, to take interest in motivating people in and around their constituency for COVID vaccination.
"We need to educate them and motivate them to see that they also get vaccinated at the earliest," he said.
Deputy Chairman Harivansh, Leader of the House Thaawarchand Gehlot, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal were also present during the oath-taking.
"Holding a public office is a 24X7 responsibility and it entitles a never-ending accountability towards the citizens of the country," Naidu said, adding it is the bounden duty of members to voice people's concerns as well as aspirations through various parliamentary devices.
He said it is also imperative for members to maintain high standards of conduct in public life and decorum in the house of elders.