Prime Minister Narendra Modi bid farewell to retiring Rajya Sabha members on Thursday (8 February) and especially mentioned former PM Manmohan Singh.
Calling his thoughts "valuable" and recognising his contributions as a leader and as an opposition leader, Modi said, "The way he guided this house and country for a long time, we will always remember him."
"I will tell all present and future MPs, to seek inspiration from Dr Singh. He even came in a wheelchair to the House for voting, which shows how much he is aware of his duties as an MP," the PM said.
Highlighting Singh's contribution to strengthening democracy, Modi prayed for his long life. For the other retiring MPs, he said that these members will go by taking memories of both the old and the new parliament buildings.
Interestingly, Modi had earlier bid a tearful farewell to Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad three years ago, saying that he respected Azad ji as a "true friend" and will not let him retire, and will continue taking his advice.
"These MPs came in the House even during the Covid period, showing how much risk they can take for their duties. We also remember those members who left us during the Covid times," the PM said.
Targeting Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge, Modi said, "The country is achieving new heights. To avoid any nazar (bad omen), the opposition is acting as kala teeka (black spot). I thank Kharge ji for that."
Modi was referring to the 'Black Paper' that Congress released earlier today highlighting the 'failures' of the Modi government on unemployment, price rise, and farmers' distress.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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