Two of the newly elected MLAs — Rishikesh MLA Premchand Aggrawal and Rudraprayag MLA Bharat Choudhary — took the oath twice on Tuesday, first in Sanskrit inside the House during oath taking ceremony of the legislators and later in Hindi in the chamber of the protem Speaker Harbans Kapur. Kapur who had taken oath on Monday administered the oath to all elected MLAs, excluding Haldwani MLA Indira Hridayesh as members of the fourth elected Assembly. She was supposed to be in Delhi while the ceremony was held.
As it was decided earlier that the newly elected legislators would take oath on March 21 most of them reached the Vidhan Sabha by 10 am. Two MLAs, one each from congress Congress — Indira Hridayesh and BJP Khatima MLA Pushkar Singh Dhami — failed to turn up. While Hridayesh remained absent Dhami turned up later and took oath in the chamber of the protem Speaker.
Initially, three MLAs, including Ritu Khanduri Bhushan, daughter of the former chief minister Maj Gen Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri, expressed their desire to take oath in Sanskrit when the official concerned said they had a draft of oath letter written in Sanskrit ready too. However, Bhushan changed her mind and took the oath in Hindi instead.
Notably, the BJP-headed Uttarakhand Government during its 2007-12 rule had declared Sanskrit as the second language of the State. Thereafter, though the Government tried to implement it across the state the regime change coming in 2012 scuttled their efforts.
By taking oath in Sanskrit, the two saffron MLAs seem to have reminded the present saffron party-helmed Government of the initiative taken during the first elected BJP government of the state, said the observers.