Former PM Manmohan Singh takes oath as Rajya Sabha member


NEW DELHI: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Friday took oath as a member of the Rajya Sabha for his sixth term.

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu administered the oath in his chamber to 86-year-old Singh. Leader of the House Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were present during the oath-taking.

Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, deputy leader of Congress in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma, and Ahmed Patel were also present in the chairman’s chamber.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot, besides some BJP leaders were also present.

“Administered oath to Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh as Rajya Sabha MP in my Chamber in Rajya Sabha today,” Naidu later tweeted along with pictures of the oath-taking in which Singh’s wife Gursharan Kaur was also seen.

Singh, returned to the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan. He was elected unopposed as the BJP did not put up a candidate against him.

In the August 19 by-election, necessitated by the death of BJP MP Madan Lal Saini, the seat went to the Congress which is in power in Rajasthan after last year’s state polls.

Singh’s tenure in the Upper House had ended on June 14. He had earlier represented Assam in Rajya Sabha for around 28 years.

Singh was elected to Rajya Sabha in 1991, 1995, 2001, 2007 and 2013. He was also the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha during 1998-2004 and Leader of the House as the Prime Minister during 2004-14.

He is the fourth oldest among the sitting members of the House of Elders after the 96-year-old Ram Jethmalani, 91-year-old Motilal Vora and 88-year-old C P Thakur.

While 79-year-old Mahendra Prasad is serving his seventh term in Rajya Sabha, Jethmalani is in his sixth term and Vora is serving fourth term in the Upper House, officials said.