Retiring members expect Parliament to function



New Delhi: Bidding emotional adieu, retiring members in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday chose it an opportune moment to highlight that peaceful functioning of Parliament was paramount for survival of the Indian democracy.

Chairman Hamid Ansari, before adjourning the House sine die, extended heartfelt thanks to eight retiring members including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whose term comes to an end on June 14, for their "significant contributions" to the Rajya Sabha.

Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said though the Prime Minister is retiring, he was quite "sure" that this will only be a technicality and he will be coming back to the House to "guide us".

Emotional members, one after another, recalled their association with the House while expressing concern over frequent disruptions in the functioning of Parliament.

Senior CPI-M leader D Raja said, "We are a democracy, vibrant democracy, largest participatory democracy ... If Parliament fails, entire democracy fails."

He said, "We should strive for meaningful function of Parliament, whatever be the issue. Our term comes to an end. It has been a sad occasion because Parliament could not function."

Kanimozhi (DMK) said, "Whenever my turn came to ask a question, Parliament was not functioning."

She also said that at least on the day of retirement, members were able to hear each other while recalling as to how people outside used to comment as to what was the need for going to Parliament which did not function.

PTI