Rajasthan Assembly session begins: MLAs arrive barefoot



The first session of the 15th Rajasthan Assembly began on Tuesday amid clamour for the oath-taking in the Rajasthani language after the newly elected members arrived barefoot or on tractors.

While some took their oath of office in Hindi, English and Sanskrit, several MLAs demanded permission of pro tem Speaker Gulabchand Kataria to allow them to take their oath in the Rajasthani language.

Biharilal Bishnoi, an MLA from Nokha, came with a white band stuck on his mouth with a message saying that the Rajasthani language should be declared a valid language for the swearing-in ceremony.

Around a dozen MLAs joined Bishnoi in his demand. However, the pro tem Speaker denied this.

These MLAs then pasted white bandages on their mouth as a mark of protest.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot took his oath in Hindi, while a few BJP members took their oaths in Sanskrit. They included former Education Minister Vasudev Devnani, Ashok Lahoti, Pabbaram Vishnoi, Chhagan Singh Rajpurohit, Jogeshwar Garg, Vithal Shankar Awasthi, Dharm Narayan Joshi, amongst others.

Indira Devi, the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party MLA from Nagaur's Medata seat, failed to read the oath and was asked by Kataria to repeat the pledges after him. 

Several interesting scenes were witnessed even outside the Assembly, as Baljeet Yadav, an Independent MLA from Behrod, came driving a tractor, while Om Prakash Hudla from Mahuwa came barefoot.

Speaking to the media, the Behrod MLA said: "I belong to a farmer family. This tractor has been lucky for me as well as my family and hence I decided to come on my lucky mascot."

Hudla, who resigned from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2017 and contested as an Independent, said: "I had pledged to enter the Assembly barefoot soon after BJP denied me a ticket." 

He said he would remain barefoot till March 10 when he would organise a mass wedding ceremony in his constituency and only then would he wear his slippers.

Sadulpur MLA and iscus thrower, Krishna Poonia, who won a gold in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, came dressed in her athlete's attire wearing her medal.

Many of the MLAs were seen bowing their heads on the stairs of the Assembly before entering.  - IANS