The elections to 55 Rajya Sabha seats falling vacant in April will be held on March 26. (Photo Credit: PTI File)
The Rajya Sabha on Monday bid farewell to 57 members, including veteran NCP leader Sharad Pawar, who will retire between April and July. One-third of the members of the Upper House retire every two years. As many as 57 Rajya Sabha members from 20 states will be retiring in the next three months. Bidding farewell, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said some of the retiring members have been re-elected. However, the House will continue to miss those who will not be coming back, he said.
Stating that change is inevitable and the only constant in life, Naidu noted, “Membership of the parliament in general and Rajya Sabha, in particular, is an honour which comes with its unique set of challenges that calls for significant accountability towards the citizens of our country.”
“To be able to represent masses and raise their issues and concerns, and address them is itself a privilege and a noble service which only a select few get,” he added. Naidu also highlighted the “stellar contribution” made by eight retiring women members.
Leader of the Opposition in the House, Ghulam Nabi Azad said parliament is like a family with deep bonding among MPs whether from the treasury benches or the opposition.
“Politicians are permanently temporary,” he said in good humour pointing out to members that politicians may come and go, but the special bond is cherished always.
Leader of the House, Thawar Chand Gehlot praised the contribution by the retiring members. Besides Pawar, Union minister Ramdas Athawale (RPI- Athawale), Congress veteran Motilal Vora, former Union minister Vijay Goel (BJP) are among the key members retiring from the Upper House.
The other retiring members include Ramnarayan Dudi, Narayan Lal Panchariya Mahant Shambhuprasadji Tundiya, Satyanarayan Jatiya and Prabhat Jha from BJP, and Mohammad Ali Khan, B K Hariprasad from the Congress.
In her farewell speech, AIADMK leader Vijila Sathyananth demanded Bharat Ratna for former late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, while Congress leader K V P Ramachandra Rao said he is retiring with a heavy heart as his party’s demand of special category status to Andhra Pradesh is not yet fulfilled. The elections to 55 Rajya Sabha seats falling vacant in April will be held on March 26.