New Delhi: Rajya Sabha Members spoke at length on Thursday, recalling their parliamentary experiences, as the House bade farewell to 72 MPs retiring between March and July this year.
Following observations made by Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi began farewell messages to the retiring MPs in the House. He asked the Members to use their vast experience earned in the House in service of the nation.
“Experience has more strength than academic knowledge. Academic knowledge has many limitations. It works in seminars. But experience gives you means to solve problems,” he said. The Prime Minister gave examples of different ways to say good bye to somebody in Bengali and Gujarati.
“While bidding good bye to somebody, we say ‘come again’. In the same way we would want you to come again,” the PM said. Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said that retiring Members left their indelible impression on his mind.
“A politician never gets retired. He doesn’t come here to become only and MLA or MP. He lives for an ideology and continues to carry forward the same ideology,” Kharge said.
The Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman said that it is not proper to use the term ‘retire’ or ‘farewell’ for the MPs. “I wish they make a comeback to the House,” he said.
He suggested that the benefit of specialisation of retiring MPs should be used and they should be invited to the orientation programmes in Parliament. “They should write their experiences to strengthen our institutional memory,” he said.
Harivansh expressed his gratitude towards retiring co-deputy chairmen Surendra Singh Nagar and Sasmit Patra for “contributing immensely towards smooth conduct of business in the House.” Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma expressed satisfaction that he was never in the Well, while protesting on issues in the House.
“I am proud that not a single word in the House by me has been expunged,” he said. DMK leader Tiruchi Siva said Rajya Sabha is the real symbol of integrity.
“We all confluence here, forgetting the states, languages, ideologies. Apart from that, only our friendship flourishes,” he said. Samajwadi Party MP Ramgopal Yadav said it is for the first time that so many experienced members are retiring together.
In a lighter tone, he asked the retiring members to visit the Parliament House post retirement and enjoy a cup of tea with colleagues. “The replacement of the MPs should be such that the richness of the House remains intact,” Yadav urged all political parties.
He urged the political parties not to have a provision to retire members, once they reach 75 years of age. Looking at BJP President JP Nadda, he said, “If the health permits, experienced members should be brought to the House.”
Recalling his Parliamentary experience of 18 years, BSP leader Satish Mishra expressed regret that the country has not been able make a society free from caste differences.
Out of the 72 retiring MPs, 30 belong to BJP and 13 from Congress. BJD, DMK, AIADMK and Akali Dal have three MPs each. CPM, TRS, BSP and SP have two MPs each. LJD, YSR Congress, NCP and Shiva Sena have one MP each. The retiring members have a total parliamentary experience of 181 terms, including 143 in Rajya Sabha and 38 in Lok Sabha earlier.
Among those retiring, 65 members represented 19 states, while seven were nominated Members. Four Ministers- Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Ram Chandra Prasad are completing their tenures during this period.
Chairmen of five of the eight Department Related Standing Committees of Rajya Sabha and Floor Leaders of four parties are also among the retiring. Thursday was marked for farewell speeches for the retiring Rajya Sabha members.
Chairman Naidu will also give a farewell dinner to the retiring MPs later in the evening. Mementos will also be presented to the retiring MPs and a cultural programme will also be organised, in which some members will showcase their talents. (UNI)