New Delhi: A passionate plea for forging consensus on running of the House as well as on wider national policies was made by retiring members of Rajya Sabha today, as the Monsoon Session was completely washed out due to continued Opposition protests.
The Upper House was adjourned since die at noon after it bade farewell to P Kannan (Cong) and nominated members Ashok Ganguly and H K Dua who complete their six years terms in October and November – the intervening period between Monsoon and the Winter Sessions.
Rajya Sabha was adjourned for half an hour till noon after Ganguly and Dua made farewell speeches and the listed papers were laid on the table, as the House completed its limited agenda.
When it reassembled at noon, the House was adjourned sine die by Chairman Hamid Ansari.
Earlier as the House met for the day, Ansari mentioned that Kannan, who represented Puducherry, will retire on October 6 while nominated members Ganguly and Dua will complete their six year term on November 17.
The trio, he said, had contributed significantly to the deliberations of the House with their active participation. “They have definitely enhanced dignity and prestige of this House,” he said adding that Rajya Sabha will cherish their association.
In his farewell speech, Dua said he had seen ups and downs in his six year tenure with his participation in debates on price rise, nuclear liability bill and Maoist violence being the high points, but an instance of tearing of bills was a sad moment.
He said disturbances and disruptions, first during the UPA rule and now under NDA government, “bring bad name to Parliament.” Observing that cynicism was developing among the people, he said “Government has to be more responsive to Opposition and the Opposition has to be more responsible. … What is needed is not acrimony… what is missing is tolerance and listening capacity.”
“Tolerance level is low. Dissent is not acceptable to anyone”, Dua said, adding that the need of the hour was evolving consensus on wider national policies like terrorism and nuclear programme.
“There is a need for consensus on running of Parliament,” he said adding the government and Opposition need to sit together to draw out “how to run House better.” In his speech, Ganguly thanked members for warm friendship and embracing him as one of them and said “unfailing bonhomie in the Central Hall (of Parliament) cutting across party lines is most reassuring feature of our unity among diversity.” he said.
Dua also termed the passage of the the bill on the Indo-Bangla Land Boundary Agreement passed in the last session as a “golden moment”, while the impeachment motion to remove a Kolkata High Court judge was also a high point.
Members thumped their desks to bid farewell to the retiring members who also thanked leaders of various political parties as well as the Chair for their support and cooperation. Kannan was not present in the House. Interestingly, soon after the listed papers were laid, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said, “we can adjourn till 12 noon for a change on peaceful note.”
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said adjournment of Parliament on the last day of the session must be on a peaceful note. Kurien then adjourned the House till 1200 hours.