As the central committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), its highest decision-making body, decided against nominating party general secretary Sitaram Yechury for a third consecutive Rajya Sabha term, the Upper House on Thursday bid farewell to the Left party stalwart.
On 26 July, a deeply divided central committee had taken the decision to bar Yechury from being re-elected for another term as a Rajya Sabha MP after a vote. "The decision was taken keeping in mind the party norm that no CPM leader can represent the party in the Upper House for more than two terms," Yechury had said.
Yechury will now have more time to focus on his role as the general secretary of the party. Yechury’s second term ends on 18 August.
Here is how politicians from across the party lines, keeping their differences aside, bid adieu to the veteran politician:
The Leader of the House, Arun Jaitley, and other MPs admired Yechury's immense contribution as a parliamentarian on Thursday. In a lighter vein, Jaitley said that since Yechury has never had an opportunity to be in the government, he has the liberty of making several suggestions which are "idealistic but un-implementable".
Jaitley said that in almost every debate in which Yechury participated, he raised the level of the debate to such an extent that others found it difficult to match that.
The Leader of Opposition, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said, "Yechury is one of those few leaders who do not belong to just a party but to the whole nation". He said his departure from the Rajya Sabha is a loss of the entire House and not just the Opposition.
According to The Indian Express, Azad urged Yechury to change the CPM’s constitution, which bars him from being re-elected for another term as a Rajya Sabha MP. "Every era has some leaders who are bigger than the party… Yechury was one of those leaders, who are leaders of this country, and future generations will count him as one of them," Azad said.
Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav, who sits adjacent to Yechury in the House, got emotional while saying that he would miss his beloved colleague and almost broke down. Yadav also echoed Azad's view and said "when the country's Constitution can be amended, why can't the Left party's constitution be amended," The Indian Express reported.
Deputy chairman PJ Kurien lauded Yechury as an excellent parliamentarian and said the nation will be benefited from his contribution. Yechury has set high standards of political behaviour, he said.
Derek O'Brien of Trinamool Congress said Yechury, who belongs to bitter rival CPM, is a politician who has set high standards. He wished luck to Yechury for his upcoming book "The Left is Always Right".
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh remembered the days when he used to sit together with Yechury to draft the Common Minimum Programme of UPA-I and UPA-II governments.
"Yechury was responsible, of course, for the troubles that both the governments had. I used to often refer to him not as Sitaram Yechury, but as Sitaram 'Obituary', because he was the one who wrote the 'obituary' for both the UPA Governments in a way but, certainly for UPA-I, when the Left Front withdrew support from the 123 Agreement," Ramesh was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.
With Inputs from PTI.
Updated Date: Aug 11, 2017 12:51 PM