In a special gesture, Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day after Question Hour on Friday as a mark of respect to former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma, who died here this morning.
Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the House for the day soon after Question Hour, when leaders of various parties urged that the House be adjourned to enable them to visit the departed leader’s residence to pay their last respects before his body was flown to Meghalaya.
Earlier, the Chairman posed questions before the House, mentioning earlier instances of adjournment in such cases, saying the norm was to adjourn only when a sitting member of the Upper House passed away.
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“We all have very great respect for Mr Sangma and his stature. He was a sitting member of the other House. Our practice in this House has been to adjourn when a sitting member passes away. We do it for a sitting member of this House. If we are going to deviate from it, is it a one-time deviation? Because only the other day, a few days back I read a reference from the Chair for a former Speaker of Lok Sabha, that is the late Dr Balram Jakhar. I don’t want different practices to become the norm.
“Are we doing it as a very special gesture over and above our practice? If that is the sense of the House, then we will do it. In other words, we will not reconvene after lunch,” he said after leaders of various parties, including Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, suggested adjournment.
Leader of the House Arun Jaitley suggested that in view of Sangma’s demise in Delhi, a number of members would like to visit his residence and pay their last respects. He was seconded by Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, who said Sangma was “one of the tallest leaders in the recent past from the Northeast”. Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) also urged the Chairman to consider the request of Jaitley and Azad, and suggested rescheduling the private member’s business to another day.