In a warm gesture, members of Rajya Sabha bade farewell to one of its retired member P Rajeeve. A member of CPI(M), P Rajeeve’s term got over on 21st April. He retired along with M P Achuthan (CPI) and Vayalar Ravi (Cong). Among them Congress party’s Vayalar Ravi has been re-nominated.
Their six-year term came to an end on April 21 but as the Rajya Sabha was prorogued and did not meet on its earlier scheduled date of April 20, the three members exited the Upper House without a formal farewell, which has been a tradition.
As Rajya Sabha met on its first day of the second leg of Budget session, the leaders across the party praised three retired members but in absentia. The atmosphere of bonhomie even prompted many members wishing the three be brought back in the house for their farewell.
Naresh Agrawal (SP) raised the issue of retiring members not getting a farewell from the House, prompting Chairman Md. Hamid Ansari to allow leaders to make farewell speeches.
Ansari said while Ravi has been re-elected, “the House will, however, miss P Rajeeve and M P Achuthan, who had contributed significantly to the deliberations of his House through their active participation on many occasions. They have definitely enhanced the dignity and prestige of this
Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while all the three retiring members were dedicated and had near attendance, Rajeeve was “industrious in digging out procedure and rules of debates in the House and kept the ruling benches on their toes.”
“He studied the rules so well and researched well,” he said and asked Sitaram Yechury, the new CPI(M) General Secretary, to consider getting Rajeeve elected again to the Upper House.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said Rajeeve was an “encyclopedia of rules” and, in a jocular vein, said he wanted his iPad so that he could benefit from all his research on rules and procedures. He too wanted Yechury to get Rajeeve back in the House.
Seconding Azad on getting Rajeeve back, Mayawati (BSP) said the CPI(M) leader used to put forth his views with all preparation.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah also hailed Rajeeve as a “very articulate” politician saying one should feel jealous. He added in a lighter vein that such an articulate and intelligent person is in the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and opposing the NDA government.
Yechury responded by saying that since Rajeeve is very intelligent and articulate, he is in the CPI(M) prompting applause within the house.
Sharad Yadav (JD-U) said it was not good for the country that the number of communists, who are a disciplined party, is declining and efforts should be made to bring Rajeeve back to House. Tiruchi Siva (DMK) said Rajeeve made his mark by interpreting rules, while Naresh Gujral (SAD) urged the government to get Rajeeve nominated to the House as he had left an indelible mark. Dilip Tirkey (BJD), Javed Akhtar (Nominated) and Majeed Memon also spoke.
Responding to the plea made by members from all sides, CPI(M) leader Yechury said his party followed certain rules and procedures and Rajeeve has been given greater responsibilities in Kerala which goes to polls next year. His renomination “will be considered very seriously,” added the CPI(M) leader.