As many as 43 out of 61 Rajya Sabha MPs will take oath on Wednesday. For the first time, the ceremony will be done inside the House chamber when Parliament is not in session.
This ceremony was to take place in the month of April but was postponed because of extensive lockdown across the nation from March end. Because of this even the Rajya Sabha elections which were to take place end of March took place finally in June.
Of those attending, 18 from BJP, 10 from Congress, 4 from YSRCP, 4 from BJD are amongst those attending. Some parties like TMC and DMK have decided to completely give this a miss in the midst of a raging pandemic.
DMK's Rajya Sabha MP Tiruchi Siva, who is not coming for tomorrow's ceremony, tells CNN News18, "The pandemic is of a grave concern. Our party leader, MK Stalin has taken a call that it's not advisable to travel during this time."
Reelected to TRS quota in the Upper House, K Keshava Rao tells CNN News18, "We are almost hitting the stage of community transmission in Hyderabad. I a Committee Chairman too, but I cannot take a risk to travel right now. Will take oath during the session and then hold my Committee meeting."
First-time MP from the Shiv Sena, Priyanka Chaturvedi confirmed to CNN News18 that she will be taking oath on Wednesday. Chaturvedi who recently jumped ship from Congress to Sena says, "It becomes my solemn duty to be present there and adhere to the norms. I need to commit myself to represent my people and my state who have sent me to Parliament."
First-time MP from YSRCP Ayodhya Rami Reddy tells CNN News18, "I am very happy and excited. It's a way to represent my state here and raise their voice as their representative. We know the pandemic has serious concerns, but I have been taking all precautions so I am not really worried about the travel to Delhi."
First-time MP from Biju Janata Dal Sujeet Kumar tells CNN News18, "It's a huge honour to be representing the voice of Odisha. I look forward to the solemn oath taking. Want to make the whole term productive."
Bhuvaneshwar Kalita, was in big news close to a year ago when he dumped Congress on the day the crucial bill to abolish Article 370 was passed in Rajya Sabha. Days later he joined BJP. The party has nominated him to Rajya Sabha.
A seasoned Parliamentarian, Kalita tells CNN News18,"I have been a Parliamentarian, and I do understand why it's so important to take oath. I would like to make the most of the entire term and make my state heard on the floor of the House and in Committees that are mini Parliaments."
Shaktisinh Gohil has attributed his journey from panchayat to Parliament to one for the people of the state. Gohil says that as a Parliamentarian he will continue to raise issues concerning people of his state.
Of the other MPs who will be present on Wednesday are NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Congress veterans Digvijaya Singh, Mallikarjun Kharge, Rajeev Satav and Shaktisinh Gohil.
BJP MPs Jyotiraditya Scindia, Narhari Amin, Rajendra Gehlot are amongst those who will take oath. Union Minister Ramdas Athawale will also take oath to Rajya Sabha.
87-year-old HD Deve Gowda elected to the Upper House from JDS, is unlikely to travel to Delhi. Sources close to the former Prime Minister of India tell CNN News18 it's advised to him by many that given his age, he shouldn't travel when the positive case numbers are not looking good at all.
Veteran of JMM, Sibu Soren also is unlikely to travel to Delhi right now and may decide to take oath during the Monsoon Session.
Elaborate arrangements have been put into place by the Rajya Sabha Secratariat for this ceremony. Parliamentary Affairs Ministers Pralhad Joshi, V Muraleedharan will remain present. A limited staff strength of officials also to remain present.
Strict protocols of social distancing will be followed during the ceremony.
The Rajya Sabha Secratariat has informed MPs taking oath that only one family member would be allowed to accompany them. The family members would be seated in the gallery for the ceremony.
The key reason for announcement of the oath taking ceremony in the midst of this pandemic was so that members could attend meetings of various Committees. Several MPs had reached out to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha about the same. As per the rules, no member who has taken oath can attend any Committee meetings or participate in any debates etc in the House.
Very recently Parliament premises saw several meetings being held of Department Related Standing Committees.