Sangrur MP Simranjit Singh Mann sworn in inside Speaker’s chamber, Congress protests

Sangrur MP Simranjit Singh Mann sworn in inside Speaker’s chamber, Congress protests

India News

Simranjit Singh Mann, the newly elected MP from Punjab’s Sangrur, took oath inside the Lok Sabha Speaker’s chamber on Monday, triggering protests from Congress members who questioned the departure from House tradition.

Mann, who won the Sangrur byelection against AAP’s Gurmail Singh, wrote to Speaker Om Birla on Monday seeking permission to be sworn in inside the Speaker’s chamber “due to some unavoidable reasons.”

While three other new MPs took oath on the House floor after the session began, Mann took the oath separately, and earlier.

This prompted Congress members, including Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, to protest inside the House.

While Rajya Sabha MPs often take oath inside the Chairman’s room during the inter session, the Lok Sabha follows a different practice — lower house MPs are usually given the oath on the House floor.

Sources in the Lok Sabha secretariat, however, said members are allowed to take oath in the Speaker’s chamber too. They cited the 1998 example of Vijaya Raje Scindia, then MP from Madhya Pradesh’s Guna, who too had taken oath inside the Speaker’s chamber.

The sources cited above said Mann, a vocal supporter of the pro-Khalistan movement, took the oath in Punjabi saying, “I affirm faith in the Indian constitution”.

A former cop who had quit after Operation Bluestar, Mann won his first Lok Sabha from Tarn Taran in 1989.

However, he neither entered Parliament nor took oath as MP after he was not allowed to enter the House while carrying a kirpan, a single-edged dagger worn by Sikhs as an article of faith.

In 1999, five years after he formed his party, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Mann was elected MP from Sangrur and took oath after keeping his kirpan away.

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