A top US energy diplomat on Tuesday said he was "not too impressed" with India's efforts to cut its imports of oil from Western sanctions-hit Iran.
Cine superstar Rekha on Tuesday took oath as a member of the Rajya Sabha, becoming yet another personality from the tinsel town to enter the portals of Parliament.
Clad in golden brown saree and a matching high-heel sandals, the 57-year-old actor of yesteryears arrived in the Upper House at 10.57 hours and was immediately surrounded by members who greeted her profusely.
Renowned journalist and nominated member HK Dua offered her his seat no. 97 and was seen explaining the procedure before Chairman Hamid Ansari took his seat.
She was greeted with thumping of desk when her name was called for taking oath. "I Rekha Ganeshan" she said, swearing in the name of God in her brief oath in English.
Ansari remarked "welcome" as she walked up to him after taking oath and greeted him with folded hands.
After signing the member register, she greeted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley and other leaders before walking to her alloted seat no. 99.
Her 'Silsila' rival, Jaya Bachchan (SP), who entered the House before her, occupied her new seat and was engrossed in the day's agenda and the two ladies of Bollywood did not greet each other.
Rekha, seated next to Anu Aga (Nom), put on headphones as the House took up listed questions. In between she exchanged notes with Javed Akhtar.
Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi was among those who greeted her before the House began.
Nineteen minutes and 23 seconds into the proceedings, Rekha stood up, shook hands with Aga and Dua before making a quiet exit from the House.
Rekha, who was nominated to the Upper House on April 26 along with Sachin Tendulkar, met the Chairman and the Prime Minister in Parliament before taking oath.
There was excitement outside Parliament House and in the corridors as the Bollywood star of the 80s arrived. News camerapersons ran towards her vehicle as it arrived near the main entrance of Parliament.
Amid chaotic scenes at the entrance, Rekha was taken to the special entrance gate used by the Prime Minister.
Accompanied by the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla, she met the Rajya Sabha Chairman. She was then taken to the office of the Prime Minister, who is the Leader of the Rajya Sabha.
Born on October 10, 1954, Rekha, whose original name was Bhanurekha Ganesan had begun her film career at the tender age of 12 and acted as as child actress in the Telugu movie 'Rangula Ratnam'.
At the age of 16, she made her debut in Hindi film 'Sawan Bhadon' in 1970 in which she was cast in the lead role. Rekha, who has acted in around 180 films in her film career spanning four decades, got national and international acclaim with her films like Umrao Jaan, Silsila, Aastha and Kama Sutra, a foreign production directed by Mira Nair.
Tendulkar is expected to take oath as a Rajya Sabha member on Wednesday. The terms of both Rekha and Tendulkar as Rajya Sabha members began on April 27.
Welcoming Rekha to the Rajya Sabha, RJD chief Lalu Prasad said, "Rekha is a great artist, we welcome her into our fraternity."
Former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh on Tuesday refused to comment on reports of SP MP Jaya Bachchan's demand to change her seat in Rajya Sabha after Bollywood actress Rekha's nomination to the Upper House, saying it was her own 'Silsila'.
"I don't want to say anything on why Jaya Bachchan changed her seat. It's her own 'Silsila'. Amitabh Bachchan is my friend and have seen Rekha in his films. I congratulated her when I met her today. I don't have any personal equation with her though," Amar Singh told reporters.
READ MORE ON Rekha, Rajya Sabha, Bollywood, Sachin Tendulkar, Parliament, Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, Jaya Bachchan
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