The two Gandhis from Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party--Rahul and Varun --as also top leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rajnath Singh and Kalyan Singh took oath as the members of the 15th Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Among other prominent members were Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh, former Union Ministers T R Baalu and Maneka Gandhi. As Rahul took oath in English, his mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi was seen applauding him. His sister Priyanka Gandhi and her husband Robert Vadra watched him from the Speaker's Gallery. Rahul shook hands with Leader of Opposition L K Advani and acknowledged greetings from opposition ranks. He also greeted former Uttar Pradesh Chief Ministers Mulayam Yadav and Kalyan Singh as also senior Communist Party of India-Marxist member Basudeb Acharia. When cricketer and Congress MP Mohammed Azharuddin took oath, his wife Sangeeta Bijlani watched him proudly from the public gallery.
Among the film stars-turned-politicians who took oath were Samajwadi Party's Jayaprada and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's K Sivakumar (Riteesh). While Maneka Gandhi took oath in English, her son Varun did so in Hindi. As the young BJP MP from Pilibhit took oath, his aunt Sonia Gandhi and cousin Priyanka were seen smiling. All nine MPs of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam took oath in the name of god, while all those belonging to the DMK solemnly affirmed their oath.However, the commonality among all MPs from Tamil Nadu was that they took oath in Tamil.
BJP chief Rajnath Singh, who got elected from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, took oath and the otherwise sleepy BJP benches woke up to energetically applaud him. Singh walked over to the ranks of the Fourth Front and Left to accept greetings from Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal-United, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Basudeb Acharia. When RLD leader Ajit Singh came to take oath, all opposition members thumped their desks to greet him. Kalyan Singh, who won as an independent supported by the SP, was seated in the fourth row when he was called out to take oath. Kalyan was greeted among others by Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj of the BJP.
Interestingly, Mulayam stopped Kalyan from moving to the fourth row and asked him to join him in the first row. Lalji Tandon, who got elected from Lucknow represented earlier by BJP patriarch Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was profusely greeted by partymen, when he took oath. Kalyan Singh, under whose government in Uttar Pradesh he served as a minister, too greeted him. Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's son Dushyant Singh, who is an MP from Jhalawar-Baran also took oath. Later, he was seen seated next to his aunt and Gwalior MP Yasodhara Raje in the pre-lunch sitting.