New Delhi, July 22: Rajya Sabha Chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday administered oath to 45 out of 61 newly elected members of the Upper House. Social distancing norms were followed during the oath-taking ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was for the first time that the new members took oath in the Upper House chamber when Parliament was not in session.

Former Prime Minister H.D. Devegowda, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, and BJP's Bhuvaneshwar Kalita were among the prominent leaders who took oath on Wednesday. A total of 36 first-timers, including Shiv Sena's Priyanka Chaturvedi, Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) Jyotiraditya Scindia and Congress leaders Shaktisinh Gohil, Mallikarjun Kharge  and Rajeev Satav took the oath of office in the Rajya Sabha chamber.

Among 19 BJP MPs who took oath today were - Vivek Thakur from Bihar; Abhay Bharadwaj, Ramilaben Bara and Narhari Amin from Gujarat; Ram Chander Jangra from Haryana; Indu Goswami from Himachal Pradesh, Scindia and Sumer Singh Solanki from Madhya Pradesh and Udayanraje Bhosale and Bhagwat Karad from Maharashtra. Monsoon Session of Parliament Will Certainly be Held, Govt to Take All Precautions Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Says Pralhad Joshi.

Twelve sitting Rajya Sabha members who have been re-elected, including Pawar, Harivansh, Ramdas Athawale, Digvijay Singh, Bhubaneswar Kalita, Prem Chand Gupta and Biswajit Daimary, also took the oath.

According to reports, remaining 16 MPs who could not take oath on Wednesday will do so during the ensuing Monsoon Session. After the oath-taking ceremony, Naidu urged the MPs not to fall prey to the temptation of disrupting the proceedings of the House for "short-term gains".

The strength of the BJP in the Upper House has increased to 86, still falling short of Majority in the 245-member House. Meanwhile, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has 100 members in the Rajya Sabha. The Congress has only 41 MPs in the House.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 22, 2020 05:26 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website