New Delhi [India], March 31 (ANI): In a heartfelt farewell to 72 members of the House, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday lauded the retiring "pool of performers", and said that it is not often that a good number of strong Parliamentarians are retiring in one go.
In his farewell speech, Naidu said, "A vast pool of considerable legislative experience, domain knowledge, Parliamentary skills and proven performance in the House is retiring. It is not often that such a pool of performers retires in one go."
The Rajya Sabha Chairman also urged that the legislators across the country be propelled by "passion, performance and procedural integrity" and desist from disrupting the law-making bodies, while also upholding the honour and privilege bestowed on them by the people.
Recounting the contributions of some veterans and the first-time members by name to the proceedings of the House and making the best use of available opportunities, Naidu referred to most of the retiring members who had kept themselves away from the tendency to disrupt the House.
Referring to "unjustifiable disruptions" in legislatures in the country, Naidu said: "It is disturbing to note that during the past four years, this august House has lost over 35 per cent of its valuable functional time due to disruptions. This needs to be curbed before it is too late."
Further, Naidu referred to the performances of retiring members and said that the 84-year-old SR Balasubramoniyan is the lone Member who has attended all the 234 sittings of the House during the 12 sessions from the 244th session in 2017 till the winter session last year (the 255th session) demonstrating passion and sincerity, defying the age.
Naidu appreciated the performance of several first-time Members retiring and the promises shown by them as typified by Dr Sasmit Patra by quickly adapting to the nuances of the functioning of the House.
He also referred to the contributions of TG Venkatesh, V Vijayasai Reddy, and Vinay P Sabhasrabuddhe for substantially improving the working of departmental committees chaired by them despite being first time Members of the House.
The retiring members have a total Parliamentary experience of 181 terms, including 143 terms in Rajya Sabha and 38 in Lok Sabha earlier.
Of the 72 retiring members, 27 have been for two or more terms in the Rajya Sabha.
Four Ministers -- Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, and Ram Chandra Prasad -- are completing their tenures during this period. Chairmen of five of the eight Department Related Standing Committees of Rajya Sabha and floor leaders of four parties are also in the retiring list.
Another 45 members are retiring after serving one term in the Upper House.
The 72 retiring members include AK Anthony, Ambika Soni, P Chidambaram, Anand Sharma, Jairam Ramesh, Suresh Prabhu, Praful Patel, Dr Subramonian Swamy, Prasanna Acharya, Sanjay Raut, Naresh Gujral, Satish Chandra Mishra, MC Mary Kom, Swapan Dasgupta, and Narendra Jadhav.
The 65 retiring Members represented 19 states while seven are nominated members. (ANI)