Special Correspondent

Speaker accedes to government request

  • BSP leader worked for the oppressed: Somnath
  • Champion of Dalits, says Shekhawat

    NEW DELHI: In a rare gesture, both Houses of Parliament adjourned on Wednesday, opening day of the winter session, after paying tributes to Bahujan Samaj Party founder Kanshi Ram, who died on October 9.

    Describing Kanshi Ram as one of the forerunners of the Dalit movement, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said he had ceaselessly worked for the welfare of the oppressed and depressed sections.

    Rajya Sabha chairman Bhairon Singh Shekawat said that in the demise of the "champion of Dalits," the country lost a noted politician and dedicated social worker.

    Though Kanshi Ram was not a sitting member, Mr. Chatterjee agreed to a government request to adjourn the House as a mark of respect to the BSP founder. He was a member of the 10th and 11th Lok Sabha.

    Homage paid

    The Lok Sabha also paid homage to four former members, Satyendra Narayan Sinha, Ravindra Varma, Shankarrao Patil and Bhiku Ram Jain.

    The Rajya Sabha paid homage to its sitting member Lalit Suri, who died in London at the age of 60. Describing Lalit Suri as a leading industrialist and dedicated social worker, Mr. Shekhawat said the country lost a "distinguished personality."

    The House also paid tributes to its former members, Sriman Prafulla Goswami, Lalitha Rajagopalan, Ahmad Hossain Mondal and Santosh Kumar Sahu, who died during the inter-session period.

    Ministers introduced

    Earlier, in the Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh introduced the three new members of the Union Council of Ministers, A.K. Antony, M.H. Ambareesh and Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav.

    Six newly-elected Lok Sabha members took the oath: the former Union Minister Shahnawaz Hussain (BJP-Bhagalpur), Narahari Mahato (Forward Bloc-Purulia), Ram Swaroop Prasad (BJP-Nalanda), Abu Ayaz Mandal (CPI (M)-Katwa), Rampal Singh (BJP-Vidisha) and Abul Hasan Khan Mandal (Congress-Malda).