New Delhi: In a partial rollback of the debutant military-like uniforms, Marshals in Rajya Sabha were seen without their peak caps Thursday after the chairman of parliament’s upper House M Venkaiah Naidu ordered a review of the controversial change in dress code.
A parliamentarian on Thursday pointed out that the peak caps were missing from the marshals’ uniform. Taking note, Naidu said, “As I have said, nothing reflects like army. That is the simple thing. That should be done and the process is on.”
As the Rajya Sabha marked its 250th session, the marshals were seen in new uniforms that many said resembled that of the armed forces.
The uniforms were navy blue, with shoulder insignias, gold buttons and gold aiguillette - ornamental braided cord worn on army or academic uniforms. The peaked cap was like those worn by Army officers of the rank of Brigadier and above. Earlier, the marshals wore white bandhgalas with a safa.
Their new uniform had sparked off criticism including from former Army chief General Ved Prakash Malik who had described the attire illegal and a security hazard.
Naidu had taken note of this sentiment and ordered officials on Tuesday to revisit the military-style uniform.“Secretariat of the Rajya Sabha after considering various suggestions has come out with a new dress code for marshals,” Venkaiah Naidu said as the House met on Tuesday morning. “We have received some observations by some political as well as from well-meaning people. So I've decided to ask the RS secretariat to revisit the issue and come to a decision,” he said before adjourning the House amid sloganeering by members of the Opposition parties.
The issue was first raised in the Parliament on Monday by Congress MP Jairam Ramesh who asked Naidu if he was imposing the Martial Law. Vice President Vankiah Naidu, who was in the chair had, however, dismissed the objection and said, "Don't raise insignificant queries at such a significant hour."
Sources said, the need for changing the uniform of the marshals was felt about six months ago in order to give them an identity distinct from the watch and ward staff. "Marshals are often confused with the other staff, who are there on the floor of the house to assist the members. There is a marshal and a deputy marshal next to the chair who point out the procedure and help the chairman run the house," the source said.
"The final design is in-house, the marshals themselves finalised it but yes we did consult NID," an official had said.