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'End of an era': Mallikarjun Kharge pens letter as Manmohan Singh retires from Rajya Sabha

Of late, the Congress veteran has not been keeping good health and has often been seen attending the Rajya Sabha proceedings, especially during crucial voting, on a wheelchair.

Hritika Mitra Edited By: Hritika Mitra @MitraHritika New Delhi Updated on: April 03, 2024 1:16 IST
Former PM Manmohan Singh
Image Source : FILE Former PM Manmohan Singh

Congress Chief Mallikarjun Kharge penned a letter for the former Prime Minister of India and party veteran Manmohan Singh who retired from the Rajya Sabha marking an end to his illustrious 33-year-long parliamentary journey on Tuesday. Kharge termed Singh's retirement as an 'end of an era'. He also applauded the outgoing leader for his contributions to Indian politics and the nation. 

Kharge lauded Singh's efforts for the rural poor. He wrote, "The MGNREGA scheme launched under your government continues to provide relief to the rural workers during times of crisis. The nation and particularly the rural poor will always remember you for ensuring that they can earn a living and live with self-respect through this scheme."

Appreciating Singh's efforts as Finance Minister, he wrote, "The economic prosperity and stability that we enjoy today is built on the foundations laid by you along with our former Prime Minister, Bharat Ratna Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao. The current set of leaders who have reaped the benefits of your work are reluctant to credit you due to political biases. In fact, they seem to go out of their way to speak ill about you and make personal attacks against you. However, we also know that you are large hearted enough not to hold that against anyone."

Manmohan Singh's political career

Singh, who first became a Rajya Sabha member in 1991 after becoming the finance minister in the Rao government, had unsuccessfully contested the 1999 Lok Sabha elections from South Delhi. He was defeated by BJP's Vijay Kumar Malhotra. His stint in the upper house was continuous, except for a two-month gap in 2019 when he was given a Rajya Sabha berth from Rajasthan.

Singh was a Rajya Sabha member from Assam for five continuous terms, from October 1, 1991 to June 14, 2019, and thereafter, was again elected to the House from Rajasthan after the short gap. He is a member from the state since August 20, 2019. Singh was the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha from March 21, 1998 to May 21, 2004.

He has often been accused by the BJP for running a government that was marred by corruption. The party had also termed "MaunMohan Singh", alleging he did not speak out against corrupt leaders in his cabinet. Singh had, however, hoped that "history would be kinder to me than the contemporary media, or for that matter, the opposition parties in Parliament".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently lauded his role as a member of the upper house and said his contributions would never be forgotten. Modi also said that Singh sometimes came to vote while being on a wheelchair, and that he did to strengthen democracy.

ALSO READ | 'He worked in wheelchair': PM Modi commends Manmohan Singh's contribution in Rajya Sabha | VIDEO

ALSO READ | PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi greet Manmohan Singh on his 91st birthday

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