New Delhi: The first day of the Budget
Session of Parliament began on a warm note in Rajya Sabha with
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh exchanging pleasantries with the
Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley as well as members from
other opposition parties and UPA allies.
As soon as Singh arrived in the House after the
President`s Address to the joint sitting of Parliament,
leaders from various parties greeted him.
Apart from Jaitley, BJP leaders S S Ahluwalia and Balbir
Punj, JD-U members Shivanand Tewari and N K Singh walked up to
the Prime Minister to shake hands with him. The Prime Minister
also waved at Opposition members.
Defence Minister A K Antony walked up to the Opposition
benches and chatted with leaders of BJP, Left, SP and BSP.
The Prime Minister was also seen interacting with CPI
leader D Raja minutes before the House was called to order.
A copy of the President`s address was laid on the table of
Ansari made obituary references to four former members -
Rameshwar Singh, Kartar Singh Duggal, Ashwini Kumar and
Singh had represented the House from April 1978 to April
1984 from UP and Duggal, an author of repute, was a nominated
member of the House from August 1997 to August 2003.
Kumar represented Bihar in Rajya Sabha for two terms from
1980 to 1992. Mishra was a member of the House from Orissa
from April 1958 to February 1962. He was also a member of Lok
Sabha and had served as Union Minister in various capacities
from 1962 to 1967.
Ansari also expressed solidairty with people of
Phillipines, who suffered a massive earthquake on February 6
in which 69 persons lost their lives.
Ansari conveyed "heartfelt sympathy" of the Upper House on
the death of 19 Army personnel in two avalanche incidents in
Gurez and Sonemarg sectors of Jammu and Kashmir on February 22