Wednesday, Dec 03, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI. DEC. 2. The winter session of Parliament began on a sombre note today, with both Houses being adjourned for the day as a mark of respect to the Union Minister, Murasoli Maran, G. Malikarjunappa and K.M. Khan, all sitting Members of Parliament, who died during the inter-session. The only official business transacted in both Houses was the oath-taking ceremony of the new members. In the Lok Sabha, the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, introduced the two new Union Ministers, Mamata Banerjee and Gingee Ramachandran.
In the Rajya Sabha, the Chairman, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, welcomed the new members, the former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Bimal Jalan, eminent scientist Kasturirangan, film star Dara Singh and educationist Vidya Niwas Mishra, Kamla Manhar, wife of the former RS member, Bhagat Manhar, and V. Narayanswamy. Film star Hema Malini was not present. Academician Narayan Singh Manaklao and journalist Chandan Mitra took oath as nominated members.
Soon after Sebastian Paul, the newly elected CPI (M) member from Ernakulam, took his oath in the Lower House, the Speaker, Manohar Joshi, began obituary references by paying glowing tributes to Maran. Describing him as a multi-faceted man and outstanding Parliamentarian who had left his imprint on various fields, the Speaker also recalled the stellar role played by him during the World Trade Organisation negotiations at Doha. He said Maran was a man with a literary bend of mind and had authored a number of books.
"His administrative skills came to the fore while serving as Union Minister for Urban Development in 1989-90, Industry Minister from 1996 to 1998 and Commerce and Industry Minister from 1999 to 2002," Mr. Joshi said. The Lok Sabha also condoled the death of sitting member G. Malikarjunappa from Karnataka and several former members who died during the inter-session.
The Rajya Sabha mourned the death of sitting Congress member K.M. Khan representing Andhra Pradesh, former members Lalbuaia, A. Subba Rao and the former BJP member and Pondicherry Governor, K.R. Malkani.
Paying tributes, Mr. Shekhawat said that in their passing, the country had lost veteran Parliamentarians. The House observed a minute's silence as a mark of respect to them.
Earlier, expressing "utmost grief and sorrow," Mr. Shekhawat referred to the killing of 52 people and injury to many others in the twin bomb blasts in Mumbai on August 25. He said "no words were strong enough to condemn the cowardly and senseless act" of killing innocent people. He also sympathised with the families of the 29 pilgrims who were killed in a stampede during the Kumbh mela in Nashik, Maharashtra, on August 27.
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