BIDDING farewell to members retiring from the Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday lauded the contribution of his predecessor Manmohan Singh to the House and the country, and said he will be remembered whenever democracy is discussed. Singh, he noted, came to vote in the Rajya Sabha on a wheelchair to help strengthen democracy. As he gave his best wishes to the retiring members, he expressed the hope that they will scale new heights after getting educated in this ‘eternal university’. 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, that 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.
Hailing Singh, Modi said, “I would especially like to remember Dr. Manmohan Singh ji. For six times he has been a member of this House and has made a huge contribution to this House with his valuable thoughts.” “As a leader and also as the Leader of the Opposition, he has made a very big contribution. “Whenever our democracy will be discussed, he will be one of those few esteemed members whose contribution will always be remembered,” Modi said. The Prime Minister said Singh coming on a wheel chair to vote in the House was an inspiring example of a member’s dedication to his duties. “I believe he came to impart strength to democracy”, Modi said as he conveyed his good wishes for the former Prime Minister’s long and healthy life. 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.
PM dubs Cong’s ‘black paper’ as ‘kaala teeka’: PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday took a jibe at the Congress for coming out with a “black paper” on the NDA Government, calling it a “kaala teeka” that will ward off the evil eye on the achievements of his Government. “Whenever a good thing happens, we apply the ‘kaala teeka’ (to ward off the evil eye), and I thank (Mallikarjun) Kharge ji for doing this honour today,” the Prime Minister said in the Rajya Sabha. The Congress on Thursday released a “black paper” to highlight the “failures” of the Modi government, alleging that the last 10 years were a period of “injustice” with issues such as rising prices, unemployment, subversion of institutions and “discrimination” against non-BJP states plaguing the country. Modi said, “When the country is touching new heights in the last ten years, we take it as ‘kala teeka’ to help ward off the evil eye”.
He said Kharge being an elder has put this ‘kaala teeka’ for the good work being done by our government in the country’s progress. Referring to the black robes earlier worn by opposition MPs in the House as a mark of protest, Modi said, “We also saw a fashion parade in the Rajya Sabha when some members came in black clothes.” Kharge released a 54-page “charge sheet” indicting the Centre ahead of the government’s tabling in Parliament of a ‘white paper’ on the “mismanagement” of the economy prior to 2014 with an aim to draw lessons.