The Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day on Tuesday without transacting any business as a mark of respect to sitting member Arjun Kumar Sengupta, who died recently.

As soon as the House met on the opening day of the winter session, Chairman Hamid Ansari mentioned the passing away of Sengupta and the former members, Jamuna Devi and S.S. Chandran.

Sengupta (73), who died on September 26, was an economist and diplomat. He served as Special Secretary to the Prime Minister from 1981 to 1984. He was a member of the Planning Commission from 1993 to 1998. Before that he was India's Ambassador to the European Union (1990 to 1993) and he served in the International Monetary Fund (1985-1990).

Mr. Ansari said Sengupta would always be remembered for his report on the unorganised sector, which became a reference point for framing policies. Sengupta, who represented West Bengal from August 2005 till his death, enriched public life. In his passing away, “the country has lost an eminent economist, a noted diplomat and an able parliamentarian.”

Jamuna Devi, who died at the age of 80, was Deputy Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh in 1998 and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly from 2003 to 2008, and from 2009 till her death on September 24. She represented Madhya Pradesh in the Upper House from April 1978 to April 1980.

Cine star Chandran, who represented Tamil Nadu in the Rajya Sabha from July 2001 to July 2007, died on October 9 at the age of 69.

Later, the members observed silence.

Before adjourning for the day, the House mourned the victims of the recent tsunami and volcanic eruption in Indonesia.

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