gives government chance to further reform agenda:
month-long winter session of parliament begins this Thursday,
presenting the government with an opportunity to further its reform
agenda. There has been much talk of reforms in higher education
They weren’t fashion models, but when MPs young and old walked in on
the first day of the winter session of parliament Thursday, they
sure made heads turn with their fine silks, starched cottons and
Seasoned or young, the style statements of many MPs in the packed
Lok Sabha caught the eye of those in the press as well as the
visitors’ gallery. The members were after all gathering together in
parliament after a gap of over three months.
Sonia Gandhi, 63, was a picture of
elegance. The chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance
(UPA) came with hair brushed neatly, and a coat over her purple
As she looked around and joined her
hands to say namaste to members on the treasury benches, an excited
woman in the visitors’ gallery remarked: “She has a royal gait!”
Sonia Gandhi’s son Rahul, 39, perhaps
the most eligible bachelor in Indian political circles right now,
was clad in a spotless but crumpled kurta pyjama.
The Congress general secretary sported
a stubble unlike his cousin in the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP), Varun Gandhi, 29, who was clean shaven.
Varun’s 53-year-old mother Maneka, a
model-turned-politician and animal rights activist, was seated in
the second row of the opposition benches, wearing an olive green
If the Gandhi members attracted
glances, their other colleagues in the house were not far behind.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee wore a camel coloured bandgala and
so did Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.
Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani
looked younger than his 82 years in a sea green bandgala as he
walked in with his deputy, Sushma Swaraj, who wore a bright green
sari and a maroon waistcoat.
The petite Agatha Sangma, who is the
youngest minister in the UPA at 29, was literally overshadowed by
the taller MPs around her as she sat in a simple kameez salwar and
Last but not the least came in the
stylish Farooq Abdullah, 73, the renewable energy minister. He wore
black trousers, a royal blue shirt and a black jacket.
In a corner,
cricketer-turned-politician Mohammed Azharuddin sat quietly - his
shirt collar turned up. This is Azhar’s trademark style - a hangover
of his cricketing days when he would turn up the collar in the hot
Indian summers to prevent a sunburn.
The winter session of the 15th
parliament will be on till Dec 22.