After skipping the morning session of the Parliament, Congress president Rahul Gandhi finally took oath as a member of the 17th Lok Sabha on Monday afternoon. However, the four-time MP appeared to forgot that he had to sign the Parliament register after being sworn-in by Protem Speaker Virender Kumar.
When Gandhi began to walk away from the lectern, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and other members of the treasury benches signalled he was going in the wrong direction. It was only after a Parliament official intervened did Gandhi return to sign the register, which is a part of Parliament procedure.
After completing the formalities, the Congress chief returned to his seat amid applause from his party members, including mother Sonia Gandhi. Rahul took the oath in English.
Gandhi was elected to the Lok Sabha from Wayanad in Kerala, where he defeated his nearest rival by over four lakh votes. He had also contested from the family bastion of Amethi but was defeated by BJP leader and Union Minister Smriti Irani by a margin of over 55,000 votes.
Earlier in the day, there was uncertainty whether Gandhi would be present for the ceremony as he gave the morning session a miss. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi took oath amid loud cheers, Ramdas Athawale stood up and asked where Rahul Gandhi was.
Hours later, Gandhi tweeted that he would begin his "new innings" in Parliament by taking oath in the afternoon. "Representing Wayanad, Kerala, I begin my new innings in Parliament by taking my oath this afternoon, affirming that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India," he tweeted.