The second day of the 17th Lok Sabha was brought into sharp focus by slogans raised during the oath-taking ceremony of the new lawmakers.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi’s swearing-in got all the attention as he responded to the shouts of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ by Bharatiya Janata Party MPs with ‘Allahu Akbar’.
As the Hyderabad MP walked towards the Speaker’s podium to take oath, chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’, ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Mataram’ were raised by almost all members on the treasury benches.
A smiling Owaisi waved at them and proceeded to take oath.
Soon after going through the procedure, Owaisi responded to the slogans with ‘Jai Bhim’, ‘Nara-e-takbeer Allah Hu Akbar’ and ‘Jai Hind’.
Reacting to slogans by pro-Hindutva side, Owaisi said, “It is good that they (BJP MP’s) remember such things when they see me. I hope they will also remember the Constitution and deaths of children in Muzaffarpur.”
Most BJP MPs raised ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ slogans when they took oath.
An exchange of sarcasm was visible between Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Lakhimpur Kheri MP Ajay Kumar when the BJP legislator raised ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ slogans.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi then intervened, indicating Rahul Gandhi not to make any comment.
The BJP MPs raised the slogans whenever any Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP took oath.
TMC’s Kakoli Ghose gave back to the BJP MP’s slogans with ‘Jai Hind’ and ‘Jai Bengal.’ Sonia Gandi admired her strong reaction with thumpings on her table.
An Independent MP from Amravati, Navneet Rana, reacted to the sloganeering and said: “This is not the right place, temples are there for it. All gods are the same, but targeting someone and taking that name, is wrong.”
Slogans of ‘Mandir vahin banayenge’ were raised in the Lower House as Unnao MP Sakshi Maharaj took oath as a Member of Parliament in Sanskrit.
BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura, Hema Malini concluded her oath with ‘Radhe Radhe! Krishnam Vande, Jagat Guru.’
Besides sloganeering, first time actors-turned MPs Sunny Deol from Gurdaspur and Ravi Kishan from Gorakhpur also drew attention in the Lok Sabha.
Several members took selfies with Deol while Ravi Kishan’s oath-taking concluded with ‘Namo Parvataye Pate Har Har Mahadev’ chant. Ravi Kishan’s demand for taking oath in ‘Bhojpuri’ — regional language — was denied by the pro tem Speaker Virendra Kumar.
Considering poor health of ailing and wheel-chair bound Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, he was allowed to take oath from near his seat after the House gave its verbal approval.