New Delhi | Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and Samajwadi Party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav were among leaders who took oath as members of 17th Lok Sabha on Tuesday, with the House witnessing a virtual slogan-shouting contest between treasury and opposition benches.
Gandhi, who retained the Rae Bareli constituency, took her oath in Hindi on the second day of the maiden session of the new Lok Sabha.
Her son and Congress President Rahul Gandhi appeared to be capturing the moment on his mobile phone from the opposition benches.
While there was loud thumping of desks by the Congress members, voices were heard from the BJP benches “greeting” Sonia Gandhi “for taking oath in Hindi”.
Immediately after her, BJP MP and former minister Maneka Gandhi was administered the oath and she and her sister-in-law Sonia Gandhi greeted each other with folded hands.
Accompanied by his son and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, an ailing Mulayam, 79, was brought to the House in a wheel chair and was allowed to take oath on priority from his seat due to health considerations.
Akhilesh, who has been elected from Azamgarh, also took oath.
There was loud applause when BJP MP Om Birla, who is the NDA’s nominee for Lok Sabha Speaker’s post, entered the House and later when he got up to take oath.
The formal proceedings were peppered with some slip-ups and banter. Many newly-elected members on Tuesday animatedly raised slogans after concluding their oath in Lok Sabha, with some even engaging in raillery and heated exchanges, ignoring the Chair’s direction to desist from it.
The presiding officer directed that no slogans will go on record.
BJP MPs ended their oath with loud chants of ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ and Jai Shri Ram. There were similar slogans from ruling party benches when opposition party MPs, especially from Trinamool Congress, got up to take oath.
Those from TMC retaliated with chants of “Jai Durga and Jai Hind”
Dressed in jeans, white shirt and blazer, actor Sunny Deol, who is a first-time MP, took oath in English amid cheers and slogans like ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ from the treasury benches.
The BJP MP from Gurdaspur smiled and quickly rectified his mistake after he said “withhold the sovereignty and integrity of the country” instead of “uphold the sovereignty and integrity of the country”.
Two members had to read the oath twice.
Bhagirath Choudhary, BJP MP from Ajmer, first started reading the oath in Sanskrit. However, the Lok Sabha Secretary General said he had given Hindi as his preferred language, so he should take his oath again.
In the second instance, Jagdambika Pal from Domariyaganj in Uttar Pradesh, skipped a few words in the initial read.
Samajwadi Party MP from Sambhal Shafiqur Rahman Barq objected to Vande Mataram slogan, drawing protests from members of treasury benches who demanded an apology from him.
Taking a dig, Congress President Rahul Gandhi asked BJP MP Arun Kumar Sagar, who chanted ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ twice, to raise the slogan “one more time”.
Gandhi again repeated “one more time” after the next BJP MP Ajay Kumar also raised the slogan of “Bharat Mata ki Jai”.
Kumar than retorted that he will say the slogan again if Gandhi can complete it by chanting ‘Jai’ following which Gandhi said “Jai Hind” and was joined by other Congress members.
Asaduddin Owaisi, AIMIM MP from Hyderabad, chanted “Jai Bheem, Jai Meem, Takbeer Allahu Akbar, Jai Hind”, after members from the ruling side shouted slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’, ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Vande mataram’.
Aam Aadmi Party’s lone MP Bhagwant Mann exchanged words with members of treasury benches as he ended his oath with the slogan ‘Inqalab Zindabad’.
Badal concluded his oath with Sikh religious chant of ‘Wahe Guruji ka Khalsa, Wahe Guruji ki Fateh”.
Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, AIUDF leader Badruddin Ajmal and former Union ministers Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Preneet Kaur and Shashi Tharoor, and actor Kirron Kher were also administered oath.
Tharoor was absent on Monday when other members from Kerala, including Rahul Gandhi, took oath.
Kaur, who is the wife of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, had a bandage on her forehead.
Former Union minister P Chidambaram was sitting in the Speaker’s Gallery as his son Karti Chidambaram took oath.
Newly elected MPs from Tamil Nadu, including T R Balu, A Raja, Kanimozhi, Dayanidhi Maran and Karti Chidamabaram, took oath in Tamil.
When a DMK member hailed Periyar, Kaliangar, Gandhi and Ambedkar, the Chair said only the prescribed format should be taken on record.
However, some BJP members asked Revolutionary Socialist Party leader N K Premachandran as to why he was not objecting to raising of such slogans by opposition MPs like he did when the BJP members took oath and raised slogans on Monday.
To this, Premachandran said the Chair has already given direction in this regard.
However, notwithstanding the Chair’s order, several members raised slogans after concluding their oath.
CPI member K Subbarayan raised the slogan ‘Long Live Secularism, Long Live India’.
BJP MP Mathura Hema Malini concluded her oath with ‘Radhey, Radhey’ and a phrase from shloka in praise of Lord Krishna.
The other MPs who took oath include Ajay Tamta, Kirron Kher, Azam Khan, Satyapal Singh, former minister Mahesh Sharma, Hema Malini, and Swami Sakshi Ji Maharaj.
The maiden session of 17th Lok Sabha commenced on Monday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari among the prominent membes who took oath on the first day.
Members who missed out on these two days will take the oath on Wednesday.