New Delhi, July 18: As many as seven new members including Dr Rakesh Sinha who is the founder and honorary director of India Policy Foundation, classical dancer Sonal Mansingh and sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra took the oath of office in Rajya Sabha today.
Apart from these three members, former BJP lawmaker Ram Shakal, CPI(M) leader and CITU state general secretary Elamaram Kareem, CPI's Binoy Viswam and Jose K Mani of Kerala Congress (Mani) took the oath of office in Rajya Sabha.
Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu greeted the new elected members while others thumped desks. Importantly, Rakesh Sinha, Sonal Mansingh and Raghunath Mohapatra, who were nominated to Rajya Sabha last week took the oath of office in Hindi.
Notably, today the monsoon session in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha began. As many as 48 important items including 46 Bills and two financial matters has been listed by the government in Monsoon Session of Parliament. Centre has kept the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill or the anti-instant triple talaq bill and The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, that gives Constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes on its top priority.
On Saturday last week, President Ram Nath Kovind announced four nominations to the Rajya Sabha. The nominees included former MP Ram Shakal, Rakesh Sinha, Raghunath Mohapatra and Sonal Mansingh.
Raghunath Mohapatra is a renowned architect and sculptor who is a recipient of Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan. Practicing since 1959, he has trained over 2000 students. His famous arts include a 6-feet high statue of the Sun God carved in grey sandstone in the Central Hall of Parliament and the Wooden Buddha, Buddha Temple, Paris.
Considered one of India's foremost exponents of Indian classical dance, Sonal Mansingh has been performing Bharatnatyam and Odissi for over six decades. A well-known choreographer, teacher, also founded the Centre for Indian Classical Dances in Delhi in 1977.