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Tuesday, Dec 20, 2005
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NEW DELHI: Both Houses of Parliament adjourned on Monday without transacting any business as a mark of respect to Union Power Minister P.M. Sayeed, who died in Seoul on Sunday.
Earlier, the Cabinet passed a condolence resolution, placing on record his services to the nation, particularly Lakshadweep, which he represented in the Lok Sabha nine times.
"Leader of the people"
In his message, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam described Mr. Sayeed as a "well-known leader of the people and one of the country's longest serving parliamentarians."
Mr. Kalam said: "I worked with him on various forums. He was known for his experience in public affairs, particularly he was working in the power sector to give a new thrust to various electricity generation programmes."
The Cabinet noted, "As a lawyer, political leader and social worker, Mr. Sayeed displayed the highest traditions of selfless public service. He was the epitome of politeness and old world grace, and a model of quiet efficiency and effectiveness. He lent dignity to whichever office he occupied and brought to bear his humanitarian outlook on national affairs. He endeared himself to all sections.... The country has lost an eminent son and a popular national leader."
In the Lok Sabha, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee recalled the services of Mr. Sayeed, who was Deputy Speaker in the 12th and 13th Lok Sabhas. "He was a dedicated parliamentarian, committed to upholding the best traditions of parliamentary democracy, and has left an indelible imprint on our parliamentary history."
In the Rajya Sabha, where he was a sitting member, Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat described Mr. Sayeed as an eminent parliamentarian and able administrator. "Mr. Sayeed was a soft-spoken person and was highly respected. He endeared himself to one and all with his suave manners.''
Union Ministers issued separate condolence messages. Among them were Shivraj Patil, Lalu Prasad, Ram Vilas Paswan, K. Chandrasekhar Rao, Mahabir Prasad and Panabaka Lakshmi.
Gujarat Governor Nawal Kishore Sharma said Mr. Sayeed's death was not only a national loss but also a personal loss.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said Mr. Sayeed ensured that power reforms pursued by the National Democratic Alliance regime were implemented in letter and in spirit. "Under his able leadership, several policies and regulatory measures under the provisions of the Electricity Act have been implemented," said CII president Y. C. Deveshwar.
Expressing shock and grief, Congress president Sonia Gandhi described Mr. Sayeed as "a most valued and trusted colleague, a parliamentarian of rare ability, dedication and experience, who inspired universal respect, admiration and affection for his professional, political and human qualities.
In a condolence message to his wife, Ms. Gandhi said that Sayeed's death "leaves a void that will be hard to fill.
"At this time of grief, words are of little consolation but you must draw strength from the fact that you did all you could to ensure that he received the best medical car, and was looked after with devotion by you and the family during his final illness," Ms. Gandhi said.
" We will always honour Mr. P. M. Sayeed's memory," the Congress president said, adding, "My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family".
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