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PM Modi hails Manmohan Singh’s contribution to democracy in Rajya Sabha farewell speech

In August 2023, Manmohan Singh had arrived in Rajya Sabha on a wheelchair to cast his vote on the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

Recalling the incident, PM Modi said, “Dr Manmohan Singh ji came to the parliament in a wheelchair. How conscious he is of his responsibilities; not only this, I was watching; whenever committee elections were held, he came to vote, the question is not to whom he came to give strength; I believe he came to impart strength to democracy.”

Singh was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in October 1991, after he became the Finance Minister. He had six terms in the Rajya Sabha: 1991, 1995, 2001, 2007, 2013, and 2019. He is currently a member of the Council of States from Rajasthan and his term ends on April 3, 2024.

Singh was Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha from May 2004 to 2014, when he was prime minister. He also remained as Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha from March 21, 1998, to May 21, 2004.

Prime Minister Modi also urges current and future MPs of both houses to view the lives of senior and retiring MPs as a guiding light and learn from their conduct in life and from the talents they exhibited in their careers.

He also hoped that the country and the new generations would benefit from their experience.

The prime minister said while the Lok Sabha changes every five years and is adorned with a new look, the Rajya Sabha gets a new vitality and energy after every two years, which fills it with an atmosphere of new excitement and enthusiasm.

That is why, he said the farewell every two years in this House is not a farewell, but leaves a priceless legacy with the indelible memories left behind for the new members.

“This House is a symbol of continuity,” he noted.

Marking the significance of the moment, the prime minister said members who are leaving today had the opportunity to be in both the old and the new building and they are leaving bearing witness to the ‘Amrit Kaal’ and 75 years of the Constitution.

Recalling the time of the COVID-19 pandemic when uncertainties loomed large, he lauded the commitment of MPs for not letting any hindrance come in the way of the functioning of the House.

He noted the huge risks undertaken by the Members of Parliament to fulfil their responsibilities.

Modi also expressed deep grief for those members who lost their lives to coronavirus and said the House accepted it with grace and continued to move forward.

Quoting ancient scriptures, the prime minister explained that those who keep good company inculcate similar qualities, and those surrounded by bad company become flawed.

Sixty-eight members of the Rajya Sabha are retiring between February and May after completing their term.

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