The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day on Tuesday after mourning the death of former Prime Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“Vajpayee ji was one of the doyens of the country’s political leadership who influenced the course of events after Independence. During his long stint in public life, Vajpayee ji epitomized the politics of grace,” Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said in an obituary reference as the house assembled.
He added that Vajpayee, who died on August 16 at the age of 93, was a parliamentarian par excellence who never hesitated to rise above politics whenever warranted in larger interest of the country and was respected across the political spectrum despite his strong ideological views.
The house also mourned the death of former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, former Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar, former Rajya Sabha members R.K. Dorendra Singh, Kuldip Nayar, Karma Topden, Nandamuri Harikrishna, Darshan Singh Yadav, Ratnakar Pandey, Satya Prakash Malaviya, Ram Deo Bhandary, Malti Sharma, N.D. Tiwari, P.K. Maheshwari, and Baishnab Parida.
In an emotional obituary reference to Ananth Kumar, Naidu said he has lost a personal friend.
The house also mourned the death of people in natural calamities — Titli cyclone which hit Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, and cyclone Gaja which hit Tamil Nadu.
The house was adjourned after observing a two-minute silence in memory of the deceased.