It was a big day for Indian sports. Sachin Tendulkar took oath as a Rajya Sabha member on Monday after being nominated by the government in April. But, the event was not without its share of controversy.
Pradeep Gandhi, an ex-Member of Parliament from Chhattisgarh's Rajanandgaon, was standing next to Sachin during the photo-op after the cricketer took oath in the Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari's chamber. Mr Gandhi was among the 10 MPs who were expelled from Parliament and BJP after the cash-for-query controversy in 2005. He was, however, re-inducted into the BJP fold in 2008.
According to protocol, prior appointment is needed for a member to be present in the Chairman's chamber, so Mr Gandhi's presence without permission has raised questions on how he managed to get in. More so, because Sachin's swearing-in ceremony was conducted as a private event, in the presence of very few dignitaries.
When asked, Mr Gandhi told NDTV that he is an ex-MP and can't be stopped from entering Parliament premises. And he went in as he too wanted to witness the oath taking of the legend. Sources in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat said the leader was not invited, but accept that he wasn't noticed. Sachin, meanwhile, said he had no idea who the MP was.