Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, on Saturday, urged Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, who is the Vice President of India, and the Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to come up with an advisory to be adhered to in the context of the form and oath being read out by members. In two separate letters, Koshyari said the advisory is necessary as it was observed that some of the newly elected members of parliament and state legislatures are departing from the prescribed form of language for oath taking and adding the names of their party leaders or venerable personalities while reading oaths.
The governor noted that such directions were needed to preserve the ‘sanctity and dignity’ of the oath taking process. "Adding names of party leaders or any other person to whom members owe their faith or allegiance, to the format of the oath taking, violates the sanctity of the oath taking process,” wrote Koshyari.
Koshyari recalled that he had to personally intervene and direct some of the members being sworn in as ministers in Maharashtra to repeat their oath strictly as per the prescribed format without any addition or deletion.
In this context, he has urged the vice president and lok sabha speaker ‘to examine and deliberate upon’ the issue of departure by members from the prescribed format for oath and to come up with suitable directions / advisories to all concerned stakeholders so as to safeguard the sanctity and dignity of the oath taking process.
Koshyari's move comes four days after the controversy erupted over chanting of Jai Shivaji Jai Bhawani by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Udayanraje Bhosale after taking oath on Wednesday in the Rajya Sabha.
Naidu, who was on the chair, had expressed disapproval and warned Bhonsle that no slogans are allowed in the parliament.
Udayanraje Bhonsle is the 17th descendant of Indian warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Naidu’s observation evoked angry reactions from the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Shiv Sena and they questioned the BJP's ‘silence’ over the issue.
However, Naidu clarified that he has always been a strong and vocal admirer of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and worshipper of Goddess Bhawani. He reminded members that as per conventional practice at the time of taking oath, no slogans are given. No disrespect at all. Similarly, Bhosale downplayed the controversy saying that ‘Naidu did no wrong. Had he done so, I would have sought his apology.’