Former prime minister Manmohan Singh rises to speak in Rajya Sabha
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh began by quoting BR Ambedkar’s statement in the Constituent Assembly where he deemed the Rajya Sabha an essential component in maintaining the Constitutional system of checks and balances. “It is our responsibility to ensure that no law is passed in haste or in an atmosphere of heightened emotion,” he said.
He suggested that the Rajya Sabha should find time to debate Centre-state relations. The Rajya Sabha is designed to be a permanent House, without the need to start afresh after every general election, Singh said.
He assures full cooperation in making the House a more effective instrument of legislation.
Narendra Modi praises NCP, BJD’s conduct in Rajya Sabha while addressing landmark 250th session
Addressing the Rajya Sabha on the first day of its landmark 250th session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the House has risen to the occassion in taking decisions about the nation’s good. “This House approved reservations for the less privileged. It is here that one nation, one tax became a reality. This House was mature to pass the Triple Talaq Bill,” he said.
Rajya Sabha strengthened Constitutional institutions, he said. “In 2003, Atal (Bihari Vajpayee) ji had remarked that Rajya Sabha may be the second House but it should not be called a secondary House. Today, I agree with the thoughts of Atal ji and add that the Rajya Sabha must be an active supportive House for national development,” he said. He also called for the state and central governments to work together in harmony.
The Prime Minister also made a special mention about the NCP and BJD’s disciplined conduct in the House. “These parties have strictly adhered to parliamentary norms. They have never gone into the well. Yet, they have raised their points very effectively. Other parties, including mine, should learn from them,” Modi said.
Rajya Sabha is eternal and diverse in nature, Narendra Modi says during 250th session of Upper House
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha during the first day of its 250th session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called it a journey of ideas and thoughts, which reflects India’s journey of progress.
“If the Lower House is close to the ground, the Upper House can see till far away. Far sightedness and being close to the ground situation gives us an overall view. The House has made history and has seen history being made,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister called the Rajya Sabha the soul of India’s federal structure, hailing its eternal and diverse nature, which has been graced by stalwarts.
Rajya Sabha allows non-politicians to contribute to the nation, Modi said. “Babasaheb Ambedkar is a shining example of what leaders have given to our country through this House. He could not sit in the Lok Sabha for some reason, but it is this Rajya Sabha that recognised his work,” he said
Narendra Modi to address Rajya Sabha after 2 pm
To mark the 250th session of the Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a special discussion of the Upper House on the topic ‘Role of Rajya Sabha in Indian Polity: Need for Reform’.
To mark the landmark session, celebratory functions will be held, including the release of a publication titled ‘Rajya Sabha: The Journey since 1952’ providing glimpses of various aspects of functioning of the House and its Hindi version.
Also, a commemorative volume on the evolution of Rajya Sabha and its functioning with 44 articles in Hindi and English by the sitting and former members and those associated with the functioning of the House will be released.
A silver coin of Rs 250 and a postal stamp of Rs 5 will also be released
Rajya Sabha leaders break convention to pay tribute to departed Parliamentarians
In a departure from convention, the Rajya Sabha allowed leaders of various political parties to speak and pay tributes to five late members, including former finance minister Arun Jaitley, instead of just the Chairman making obituary references.
While Leader of the House Thaawarchand Gehlot said Jaitley’s death was a personal loss to him, Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the personal relationship that the deceased member shared with other members turned political bitterness into sweetness on most tense issues.
“We haven’t seen such a media savvy minister and leader,” he said, adding Jaitley did not stop meeting media personnel and friends even when he was ill during his last days. He said loss of some persons is not just a loss to the party to which they belong but to the entire nation.
Senior NCP leader Sharad Pawar recalled the contribution of Jaitley to sports. He said Jaitley often used to discuss issues related to cricket with him. He also talked about the contribution of Gupta to the wellbeing of farmers and labourers. Tiruchi Siva (DMK) said Jaitley was a person of great integrity. He said Jaitley was magnanimous to waive off GST on sanitary napkins.
Terming Jaitley as “bridge builder”, senior Congress MP Anand Sharma the Modi-government would not have been able to pass a big legislations like GST without him.