New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi took oath as the MP from Wayanad in the afternoon when neither Prime Minister Modi nor Home Minister Shah were in the House.
He had arrived in the morning but chose to skip the forenoon session, ostensibly because he could not stomach the ruling MPs lustily cheering Prime Minister Modi. He turned up only in the afternoon and sat next to his mother Sonia Gandhi; he returned to the seat immediately after taking the oath in English.
Rahul chose not to even look at the government benches, nor did he greet Defence Minister Rajnath Singh who was present in the House, as most MPs did after taking the oath.
In fact, he was in a tearing hurry to rush back to his seat after the oath and had to be called back, as he had not signed the register as a newly elected MP. He signed the register, greeted Brijbhushan Sharan Singh and returned to his turf.
On being told that BJP minister Ramdas Athavale had inquired in the House in the morning about his whereabouts, Rahul tweeted: "My 4th consecutive term as a Member of the Lok Sabha begins today.
Representing Wayanad, Kerala, I begin my new innings in Parliament by taking my oath this afternoon, affirming that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India."
There was, however, no word from the Congress party about the resignation he had tendered as the Congress President in the Congress Working Committee meeting three weeks ago, nor any clarity on who will be the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha.
The Congress has two seats less than the 56 that are required for its leader to be declared the leader of Opposition with all facilities enjoyed by a Cabinet minister.