Referring to India's first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on the farewell of the 72 retiring Rajya Sabha MPs, the Leader of Opposition in the Upper House Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday said the former Prime Minister provided Rajya Sabha with power and integrity.
Speaking at Rajya Sabha, Mr Kharge said, "There is a saying in politics that there are often ups and downs but one should never leave the ground. We should keep that in mind while working for the people," LoP Mallikarjun Kharge in Rajya Sabha
The Congress leader emphasized that the efficient functioning of the House is paramount.
"Rajya Sabha is a permanent House, some members will retire while some others will come. It will go on forever. We might have differences of opinions but we have to ensure that we work efficiently," he said.
Referring to former Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Mr Kharge said, "Nehruji empowered Rajya Sabha with power and integrity. He made Rajya Sabha MPs the members of various committees. Except, in the case of Money bills, both the Houses are equally powerful."
Rajya Sabha on Thursday bid farewell to 72 members retiring from March to July this year.
The retiring members have a total parliamentary experience of 181 terms including 143 terms in Rajya Sabha and 38 in Lok Sabha earlier.
Of the 72 retiring Members, 27 accounting for 38 per cent of those have the experience of serving two or more terms in Rajya Sabha. Four ministers-- Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Ram Chandra Prasad -- are completing their tenures during this period. Chairmen of five of the eight Department Related Standing Committees of Rajya Sabha and floor leaders of four parties are also among the retiring.
Another 45 members are retiring after serving one term in the Upper House.
The 72 retiring members include AK Anthony, Ambika Soni, P Chidambaram, Anand Sharma, Jairam Ramesh, Suresh Prabhu, Praful Patel, Dr Subramonian Swamy, Prasanna Acharya, Sanjay Raut, Naresh Gujral, Satish Chandra Mishra, MC Mary Kom, Swapan Dasgupta, Dr Narendra Jadhav.
Sixty-five retiring members represented 19 States while 7 are nominated members.
Initiating the farewell speech, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu urged the legislators across the country to be propelled by 'passion, performance and procedural integrity' and desist from disrupting the law-making bodies and upholding the honour and privilege bestowed on them by the people.
He termed the retiring members as a "vast pool of considerable legislative experience, domain knowledge, parliamentary skills and proven performance in the House. It is not often that such a pool of performers retire in one go."