P C Alexander, Rajnath and Keshubhai retire from Rajya Sabha

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New Delhi, Mar 20 (UNI) Rajya Sabha today bade farewell to 57 of its members including BJP leader Rajnath Singh, former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel and former Maharashtra Governor Dr P C Alexander who will all be completing their membership tenure on April 2.

Among those who will retire from office include Ministers of State M V Rajasekharan (Planning), Suresh Pachauri (Parliamentary Affairs), and Akhilesh Das (Steel), RJD leader in the upper house Prof Ramdeo Bhandari and former AICC General Secretary B Janardhana Poojari.

Though Petroleum Minister Murli Deora and Minister of State in the PMO Prithviraj Chauhan are also completing their terms, they are expected to enter Rajya Sabha again from Maharashtra.

before the house adjourned for the budget recess, Mr Ijaz Ali was administered oath of affirmation.

In a touching speech, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recalled the contribution of the retiring members and said change was the hallmark of a dynamic institution. The members provided the Rajya Sabha a vast reservoirs of knowledge, wisdom and experience but the country was unable to take full advantage of their skills. Each of the members have contributed to enrich the house of elders working as a role models.

He said with Dr Alexander, his working experience had been working for over four decades and he had guided the government on the way they should go about. Dr Eknath Thakur, had set a true example to fight Cancer, he said pointing towards Shiv Sena member who had been battling cancer due to malnutrition right from his childhood days with no parental support right as a two year infant.

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