New Delhi: Renowned former Olympic track and field athlete PT Usha on Wednesday took the oath or affirmation of allegiance to the Constitution as Rajya Sabha MP.
Usha, along with renowned composer Ilaiyaraaja, screenwriter V Vijayendra Prasad and spiritual leader Veerendra Heggade, were nominated to the Upper House of Parliament by the government in what was seen as part of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) outreach to southern India.
"Pilavullakandy Thekkeyaparambil Usha (Nominated) to make the prescribed oath or affirmation of allegiance to the Constitution," mentions Rajya Sabha List of Business.
Usha, was recently nominated to the Rajya Sabha, by the central government. A day ago, she met BJP president J P Nadda who extended his congratulations to her for being nominated as Upper House MP and wished her the very best.
Born in a small village in Kozhikode district in Kerala, Usha is one of India's most iconic sportspersons.
Popularly known as the Payyoli Express, she has represented the country and won medals at various international sporting events, including the World Junior Invitational Meet, Asian Championships, and Asian Games. She has set and broken many national and Asian records during her career.
Usha has been a role model and inspiration for lakhs of young girls across the country who have dreamt of taking up a career in sports, especially track and field events.
In the 1984 Olympics, she missed winning India's first medal in track and field in a photo-finish as she stood fourth in women's 400M hurdles and lost the Bronze medal by 1/100 second.
Other members who take oath
Earlier on Monday, cricketer-turned-politician Harbhajan Singh, Misa Bharti, daughter of former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, and BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla took oath along with nearly 25 other leaders as Rajya Sabha members.
Others included A Rao Meena, Vijay Sai Reddy, Kheeru Mahto, Shambhala Saran Patel, Ranjeet Ranjan, Maharashtra Majhi, Aditya Prasad, Praful Patel, Imran Pratapgarhi, Sanjay Raut, Sasmit Patra, Sandeep Kumar Pathak and Vikramjeet Singh Sahani.
Randeep Singh Surjewal, P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, R Girl Rajan, S Kalyan Sundaram, KRN Rajesh Kumar, Javed Ali Khan, V Vijendra Prasad were others among those who took the oath on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Opposition parties forced adjournment of both the Houses of Parliament till 2 pm amid sloganeering and ruckus.
Both the Houses of Parliament are witnessing repeated adjournments following the ruckus by the Opposition leaders since the commencement of the Monsoon session on July 18.