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Power women in front seat

New Delhi, Dec. 9: New BJP chief ministers Uma Bharti, Vasundhara Raje and Raman Singh, who are still Lok Sabha members, made a dramatic appearance in the House after question hour today.

Ruling National Democratic Alliance MPs welcomed the chief ministers by thumping their desks, with Speaker Manohar Joshi greeting them warmly. But Opposition MPs protested at the way Bharti, Raje and Singh entered the House “in a procession” and occupied the front row, which is meant for the Prime Minister, his deputy and senior ministers.

CPM leader Somnath Chatterjee said he had nothing personal against the MPs, congratulating them on becoming chief ministers. But he objected to their coming in a “procession”, which he said was against the decorum of the House.

Congress MP Mani Shankar Aiyar said if the chief ministers had to be in Parliament at all, they should have occupied the rear benches. Responding, parliamentary affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said the Opposition ought to greet Bharti, Raje and Singh and wish them well for their new assignment.

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