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In Rare Sight, Legendary Indian Athlete Chairs Parliamentary Proceedings

© Photo : Twitter/ @PTUshaOfficialP.T. Usha advised chaired Rajya Sabha on Feb.9, 2023.
P.T. Usha advised chaired Rajya Sabha on Feb.9, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 09.02.2023
Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha, or P.T. Usha, is a legendary athlete who still holds India's national record for sprinting the fastest women's 400-meter hurdles race.
In a rare occurrence in the Indian Parliament, four-time Asian Games gold medalist P.T. Usha chaired the parliamentary proceedings in the upper house, the Rajya Sabha, on Thursday.
It could be possible after she became a Vice Chair of the Rajya Sabha in December, giving her the right to oversee proceedings in the House in the absence of the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman.
On Thursday, Usha turned the first nominated parliamentarian to become a Vice Chair of the Rajya Sabha. She took over the mantle from Rajya Sabha's chairman and country's Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankar due to the latter's absence from the House, enabling her to preside over the proceedings.
The iconic sports star became a member of the Rajya Sabha in July last year after PM Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nominated her to the upper house of parliament.

Usha shared a video of the happy moment for her on Twitter, saying she wished to "create milestones" as an MP.

"'Great power involves great responsibility' as said by Franklin D. Roosevelt was felt by me when I chaired the Rajya Sabha session. I hope to create milestones as I undertake this journey with the trust and faith vested in me by my people," she tweeted.
Usha's Rajya Sabha clip created quite a stir on social media, with netizens praising her.
"Proud moment for sports fraternity," a user remarked.
"When the golden girl of India presides, the standard is set high. And with that camouflage jacket, you seem to have come well prepared to blend," another added.
"As far as I remember, no athlete has chaired the RS till now."
"If I am right. Indeed a milestone for democracy. Happy to see this in my lifetime," a third claimed.