Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu had an emotional moment today as he remembered his old friend and veteran Congress leader S Jaipal Reddy who died on Sunday. Mr Naidu was reading out a formal obituary in the Upper House when he broke down.
Jaipal Reddy, a former union minister, died at a hospital in Hyderabad in the early hours of Sunday. He was 77. He had been diagnosed with pneumonia.
Calling him an "outstanding orator and able administrator", Mr Naidu said he had worked with Mr Reddy for two terms in the Andhra Pradesh assembly in the 1970s. Mr Naidu remembered his days in the assembly as a legislator when he shared a bench with Jaipal Reddy. The two leaders used to discuss various issues over breakfast just before assembly proceedings began.
"Both of us used to sit on the same bench. We used to effectively argue the people's cause in our own way," Mr Naidu said about his four-decade association with Mr Reddy.
Rajya Sabha members observed a minute's silence as a mark of respect to Mr Reddy.
"I am sorry I cannot control my emotions because of 40 years of personal association," Mr Naidu told the Rajya Sabha as he wiped his tears.
"Those days, the assembly used to meet at 8 am. Both of us used to meet at 7 am to discuss issues over breakfast. The amount of knowledge, the depth of understanding and mastery over the languages. He was really remarkable," Venkaiah Naidu said, adding that it was very painful to hear about his death.
"He has been my friend, senior and he also used to guide me. I am six years younger to him. We deeply mourn the passing away of Jaipal Reddy," Mr Naidu said.
Jaipal Reddy, a parliamentarian since the 1980s, served in the Lok Sabha for five terms and in the Rajya Sabha twice.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI)