Sir, for those members who have retired and have been re-elected, to them our heartiest congratulations. Those members who are retiring today or in next few days, I think today is their special day. I do not think we need to make this into an eulogy and make it all sound so sad. It has been a wonderful six years, or more than six years, for them. So we wish them good health and happiness.
I think many of the names have already been read out. I felt like reading out all the 43 names – but because of the shortage of time, even if I do not read it out, that is the spirit of this day, Sir.
There are three MPs from Bengal who are retiring today. I would like to specially mention them. Of course, I must mention my colleague Vivek Gupta. Normally at the age of 41, you do not have the word ‘retired’ after you; he became an MP at 35 and he is retired for the moment at 41. Vivek, you have been a wonderful colleague. Thank you for what you have done in the last six years.
There are two other members of Parliament from Bengal who are retiring and I wish them very well. To Kunal Ghosh, who is here, I wish happiness in the future. And one person who has made a great contribution in this House in so many ways is Tapan Sen from CPI(M). I think it would be very appropriate to say that we may be political rivals but we are not political enemies. Tapan Da you have been a wonderful colleague and we will miss you.
And of course, everyone else including the two Deputy Chairmen, K Rahman Khan and Prof Kurien. I think someone said, it is a nice time to retire when people ask why is he or she retiring and not when is she or he retiring. That is the most appropriate question.
I share optimism here, and I join the Leader of the Opposition here, we are not so pessimistic about Parliament. Parliament is a great place to be, some great talents are here. We keep saying Parliament is going down the drain, it is not going down the drain. This is a happy place to be for parliamentary democracy.
So, for all of you who are retiring, join us regularly, for coffee, for toast, for everything else and keep one room. Never pay, let the MPs pay.