Rajya Sabha bade farewell to three of its veteran members – Karan Singh, Janardan Dwivedi and Parvez Hashmi on Friday, who will be retiring later this month.
All the three retiring MPs were elected from Delhi. The farewell was held on the last day of the Winter Session.
Karan Singh and Dwivedi were present in the House but Hashmi was absent on Friday.
Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said his veteran party colleague Karan Singh had become the Head of State of Jammu and Kashmir at the age of 18 years and was probably the youngest person in the world to be elected to such a post.
During his 57-year political career, 86-year old Karan Singh got the opportunity to interact with all the Prime Ministers, right from Jawaharlal Nehru till Narendra Modi, Azad said.
Despite being born in a royal family and holding high political posts, Singh never touched liquor, cigarettes or even paan throughout his life and always remained humble, Azad added.
He also recalled Dwivedi’s association with the socialist movement. Dwivedi, 72, completed his third term as Rajya Sabha MP.
Regarding 63-year old Hashmi, Azad said he hoped his retiring party colleague would remain active in politics in future too.
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said the three retiring members have contributed significantly to the deliberations of the House and parliamentary committees.
They have also contributed in the process of “nurturing and strengthening” parliamentary democracy and enhancing the dignity and prestige of the Rajya Sabha, he said.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad recalled his interactions with Karan Singh and Dwivedi. The minister said in Karan Singh, he saw a ‘philosopher King’, as envisaged by Aristotle. Of late, he said, Singh had stopped writing and urged the veteran Congress leader to continue writing.
Prasad showered praises on Dwivedi for promoting Hindi in a simple and easy way.
In his brief speech, Karan Singh said Parliament had evolved in the last 50 years, but all changes have not been positive.
He said earlier both the Houses used to witness brilliant debates. But now, “debates have become rare and disruptions have become more frequent”, Singh said, and called upon the members to introspect.
He said he had opportunities to interact with all Prime Ministers from Nehru until Modi, and all of them worked in their own way to build a New India, as envisaged by the first Prime Minister.
He said he came to Delhi as a young man at 36 and was retiring as an “idealistic old man”.
As Karan Singh completed his speech, Naidu commented that hearing him was a “feast”.
Dwivedi in his farewell speech said that he had spent 57 years in politics ever since he entered Allahabad University in the 1960-61 academic session. He added that he has great respect and regard for those who were born in poor families and emerged as successful persons, as also for the ordinary party workers who become big leaders.
“From a philosophic point of view, our sympathy and goodwill could be with the pain and sufferings of the poor. But if one has not lived that pain or suffered it, then one cannot become a true and complete leader. Nor can one become a complete intellectual. I have held this belief right from the beginning, Dwivedi said.
(With inputs from PTI)