New Delhi: Rajya Sabha on Thursday mourned the death of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray and eight of its former members including former Defence Minister K C Pant and former Chief Justice of India Ranganath Misra.
When the House met on the opening day of Winter Session of Parliament, Chairman Hamid Ansari mentioned about the passing away of Thackeray and former members B V Kakkilaya, Misra, Jagesh Desai, B P Singhal, B Satyanarayan Reddy, Anantray Devshanker Dave, Kailashpati Mishra and Pant.
Ansari in his obituary reference described Thackeray, who died on November 17 at the age of 86, as a charismatic person who always tried to inculcate a sense of pride in people particularly those from Maharashtra.
Beginning his career as a cartoonist with The Free Press Journal, Thackeray founded the Shiv Sena party in 1996 to "espouse the cause of local people of Maharashtra."
Ansari said Pant, who was also Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission from February 1999 to June 2004, passed away on November 15 at the age of 81.
He represented the state of Uttar Pradesh in the Upper House from April 1978 to April 1984.
"In passing away of Pant, the country has lost an able administrator and distinguished parliamentarian," he said.
Ranganath Misra, a legal luminary, died on September 13 at the age of 85. He was Chief Justice of India from October 1990 to November 1991 and the first chairman of the National Human Rights Commission from 1993 to 1996.
He represented Odisha from July 1998 to July 2004. "In passing away of Misra, the country has lost an eminent jurist and distinguished Parliamentarian," Ansari said.
A freedom fighter and noted social worker Kailashpati Mishra, who was a member of Rajya Sabha from Bihar from April 1984 to April 1980, died on November 3 at the age of 86. "In passing away of Mishra, the country has lost a veteran freedom fighter and an able parliamentarian," Ansari said.
Anantray Devshanker Dave, a lecturer by profession who worked for poor and downtrodden, died on October 7 at the age of 74 years. He represented Gujarat for two terms in Rajya Sabha - from April 1990 to April 1996 and April 1996 to April 2002.
"In passing away of Dave, the country has lost a noted social worker and able parliamentarian," Ansari said.
B Satyanarayan Reddy, who represented Andhra Pradesh from April 1978 to April 1984 and April 1984 to February 1990, died on October 6 at the age of 85. He was also governor of Uttar Pradesh and Odisha from Febraury 1990 to June 1995.
B P Singhal, an IPS officer who represented Uttar Pradesh from July 1998 to July 2004, died on October 5 at the age of 80. "In passing away of Singhal, the country has lost a distinguished civil servant and able parliamentarian," Ansari said.
A chartered accountant by profession Jagesh Desai, who died on October 4 at the age of 86, was a two-term member from Maharashtra - April 1984 to April 1990 and April 1990 to April 1996.
"In passing away of Desai, the country has lost a veteran freedom fighter and distinguished parliamentarian," he said.
B V Kakkilaya, a freedom fighter and trade unionist, died on June 4 at the age of 93. He represented Tamil Nadu in the Upper House from April 1952 to April 1954.
Members then stood in silence as mark of respect to the departed souls.
Ansari then mentioned that over 100 people were killed and several others injured in the super storm Sandy that hit parts of the United States recently.
Conveying deep condolence and sympathies, he said India stands in solidarity with the friendly people of US in their hour of grief.
He then referred to the killing of 55 people in cyclone Neelam on October 31 and death of 15 persons in a stampede that followed collapse of a make shift bridge during Chhat Puja in Patna on November 19.
"The loss of so many innocent lives is indeed tragic," Ansari said expressing heartfelt sympathies and concern to those who lost their near and dear ones in these natural calamities. He prayed for speedy recovery of the injured.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh thereafter introduced ministers who were promoted or inducted in the recent Cabinet reshuffle.
Members thumped their desks as Singh read out a list of 21 ministers that included K Rehman Khan (Minority Affairs), Dinsha Patel (Mines), Ajay Maken (Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation), M M Pallam Raju (HRD), Ashwani Kumar (Law), Manish Tewari (I&B) and K Chiranjeevi (Tourism).
The ministers stood up and greeted the House with folded hands as Prime Minister called their names.