The Rajya Sabha Thursday bid an adieu to three members whose term comes to an end with the close of the Monsoon session on Friday.
These members are Sitaram Yechury of the CPI(M), D Bandyopadhyay of the Trinamool Congress and Dilip Pandya of the BJP.
While nine members are retiring after the session, six of them will be back as they have been re-elected.
Deputy Chairman Kurien, while thanking the retiring members for their invaluable contribution, said they should forgive and forget if he had been harsh with them.
He termed Yechury as an excellent parliamentarian and said the nation will be benefited from his contribution.
Yechury has set high standards of political behaviour, he said.
Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Yechury was a “veteran in politics” who raised the level of debates during his two terms in the Upper House.
In a lighter vein, he also quipped that the CPI(M) leader had never had the opportunity of being in government and had had the privilege of making comments which are idealistic and but not practical or implementable.
Referring to Bandyopadhyay, a former civil servant, Jaitley said he was impressed with him.
About Pandya, he said he was most regular in attending the proceedings.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad chose the occasion to point out the importance of the Upper House while noting that there had been suggestions from the ruling party to abolish the Rajya Sabha.
He said a host of stalwarts had been members of the Rajya Sabha and named a number of them, like B R Ambedkar, Indira Gandhi, HD Deve Gowda, IK Gujral, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh.
Besides, three Presidents – Zakir Husain, Pranab Mukherjee and Ram Nath Kovind, have been members of the Upper House.
Azad said Yechury’s loss was not only to the opposition but to all as some people do not belong to any political party and belong to the nation.
He praised Bandyopadhyay for his punctuality and took a dig at the BJP for exit of Pandya, saying a committed RSS worker like him should have been in the first rows.
Samajwadi Party MP Ram Gopal Yadav, who shares his seat with Yechury, turned emotional and could not complete his speech while bidding farewell to the CPI(M) leader.
Derek O’Brien of Trinamool Congress said Yechury, who belongs to bitter rival CPI(M), is a politician who has set high standards.
He wished luck to Yechury for his upcoming book “The Left is Always Right”.
About Bandyopadhyay, he said he is a strict disciplinarian and termed Pandya as “soft spoken.”
D Raja (CPI), Tiruchi Siva and A Navaneethakrishnan too made warm comments about the retiring members.
The House earlier adopted three motions that pertained to appointment of members to the joint committee on the right to fair compensation and transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2015, appointment to the joint committee on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and election to the joint committee on offices of profit.