The Rajya Sabha on Friday witnessed a superb display of wit, humour and literary spark as it bid adieu to 53 members.
In his farewell speech, Congress MP Jairam Ramesh described himself and finance minister Arun Jaitley as “sparring partners” and sought to have a go at him saying, “He is a master spinner of facts. And all I can say is that he combines in him the guile of Bailey, the flight of Prasanna, the length of Venkat Raghavan and the shooters of Chandrashekhar. There have been very few spinners like him.” Speaking on the retirement, the Congress MP quoted cricketer Vijay Merchant as saying, “It is better to go when people ask why is he going rather than why isn’t he going.”
But Jaitley had the last laugh. “I want to correct him for the last time. It (retirement quotes) was said by Sunil Gavaskar and not Vijay Merchant,” he said.
In his farewell speech, Chandan Mitra said that the Rajya Sabha can be “the intellectual fountainhead” and something that shows the way to the Lok Sabha, to states and to government. BJD MP Vaishnav Parida quoted 19th century English poet PB Shelley to express his feelings on retirement: “Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.”
JDU’s Sharad Yadav said the term “bidai (farewell)” could not be used for politicians as there is no retirement for them. “Even if you send them away, they keep coming back. There is a special corner for them in Central Hall. Only politicians are accountable...we are called to give an account of the hair on our head, but others must also have some accountability,” he said.