Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah and Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani took oath as Rajya Sabha members on 25 August 2017.
The oath was administered to both the BJP leaders by Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu. Smriti Irani took the oath in Sanskrit.
The Ministers were accompanied by senior leaders including Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
While this would be Amit Shah’s first stint in the parliament, for Smriti Irani it would be her second term, as she was sworn in as a member of parliament from Gujarat to the upper house in 2011 as well.
Shah's entry into the Rajya Sabha is likely to give a boost to BJP, as the party lacks a majority in the house. Shah previously served as an MLA in the Gujarat assembly for five long terms.
The two senior leaders were elected to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat state earlier this month, after much drama following Election Commission’s move of rejecting the votes of two dissident Congress MLAs for violating electoral rules, enabling Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, to beat BJP's candidate Balwantsinh Rajput with 44 votes.
Following Patel's victory, the Congress cracked the whip against 8 rebel MLAs, including former Chief Minister Shankersinh Vaghela, expelling them for six years for anti-party activities.
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