Kochi: Retired Rajya Sabha member P Rajeev Thursday said he feels humbled by the love and affection showered on him by the members of Upper House while bidding farewell to him and two other colleagues in absentia.
Rajeev, who has not been nominated by his party CPI-M for a second term, said he learnt a lot during his six year tenure in the Rajya Sabha.
During their farewell speech, leaders cutting across party lines including Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, BSP chief Mayawati t asked his party leader Sitaram Yechury, the new CPI-M General Secretary, to consider getting Rajeev elected again to the Upper House.
Asked for his reaction, Rajeev, who is currently heading Ernakulam district unit of the CPI-M, thanked Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien and "learned colleagues" in the House for helping him to enrich his career as a Parliamentarian.
"I feel honoured by the love and affection showered on me by respected leaders and colleagues in the Upper House. I learnt a lot from the House and I hope it would help me for strengthening my future social and public activities.
"Now I feel that I am not the same person when I became a first time MP in 2009," Rajeev told PTI.
The six-year term of Rajeev, M P Achuthan (CPI) and Vayalar Ravi (Cong) came to an end on April 21 but as the Rajya Sabha was prorogued and did not meet on its earlier scheduled date of April 20, they exited the Upper House without a formal farewell, which has been a tradition. Today was the first day of the new session of Rajya Sabha.
Naresh Agarwal (SP) raised the issue of retiring members not getting a farewell from the House, prompting Chairman Hamid Ansari to allow leaders to make farewell speeches.
Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while all the three retiring members were dedicated and had near attendance, Rajeev was "industrious in digging out procedure and rules of debates in the House and kept the ruling benches on their toes."
"He studied the rules so well and researched well," he said.