Unfazed by criticism, Mani Shankar Aiyar, who has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha, has said that he plans to take the whip of Congress party on the day he takes the oath.
Aiyar, a former minister in the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government between 2004-2009, said that all nominated members of the Rajya Sabha are required to take or not take the whip of a political party within six months of their being nominated.
"As far as I know, every single person who was nominated by the BJP took the BJP whip. It does not seem to be a great difference whether I take the whip on day one, which of course, I intend to do or wait for 179th day to take it.
"It would be in keeping with the past practice for me, as a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha, to take the whip of the party of my preference which happens to be the Indian National Congress," he told reporters here last night.
Aiyar launched his new books Confessions of a Secular Fundamentalist and A Time of Transition - Rajiv Gandhi to The 21st Century at the Nehru Centre in the presence of Indian High Commissioner to the UK Nalin Surie.