news Saturday, April 25, 2015 - 05:30
CPI (M)’s Ernakulam district secretary P Rajeev is feeling elated, it isn’t often that Parliamentarians cutting across party lines praise a colleague.
 
When Rajeev exited after completing his six year term in the Rajya Sabha this Tuesday, the voices in the upper house unanimously praised his contributions and expressed that he shall be brought back in the house.
 
In a rare gesture, Rajya Sabha bade farewell to three of its retired members including CPI(M)'s P Rajeev in absentia. During their farewell speech, leaders cutting across party lines including Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, BSP chief Mayawati asked CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, to consider getting Rajeev elected again to the Upper House.
 
To have served one full term with fruitful contribution is no less than an achievement.
 
Responding to this rare gesture bestowed upon him, P Rajeev said that he feels honored that leaders across parties want him back in the house. “I consider it as an acknowledgement of my hard work. I have always worked adhering to parliamentary discipline and this is indeed an honorable gesture”, he said.
 
The former MP poses with journalists in Delhi after his term comes to an end
 
Contrary to the general tendency of the opposition party to oppose anything and everything the ruling party proposes, Rajeev is a leader who strongly believes that it is necessary for politicians to ‘disagree with respect’, at the same time acknowledge what is beneficial to the public. Only then, he says, will the democratic nature of the country be put to practice.  
 
Asked about his possible return to the Rajya Sabha, Rajeev, being the party’s faithful comrade, said, “Now that the party has decided that I carry out the role of district secretary, I would like to put effort on that front for now. Decisions like returning to the RS is completely on the party. I would be glad to perform any role that the party decides to confer on me”.
 
During the six years of his term, Rajeev have been instrumental in proposing a number of initiatives and amendments in the parliament. He is the recipient of Chief Minister’s Award for Innovation in Public Policy in the year 2013 for creating hygienic and safe toilets for girl students in Eranakulam. In December 2012, he was one of the first to raise voice against the draconian Section 66A of the IT Act which was recently struck down as ‘unconstitutional’ by the Supreme Court. He moved a private member’s resolution calling for drastic changes in the law. 
 
“(T)he language of section 66A of the amended Act goes far beyond the reasonable restrictions on freedom of speech, asmandated under Article 19 (2) of the Constitution of India,” the resolution said.
 
Asked about a parliamentarian who has inspired him, Rajeev says that no one parliamentarian has influenced him. “I cannot name one person, because irrespective of whether he is a senior leader or not, one gets to learn a lot from each and every person. It is possible to pick up points from every member who delivers speech”, he said.
 
It is probably because of this that Rajeev is respected by leaders across parties. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said Rajeev was an "encyclopedia of rules”. Rajeev’s habit of researching well on the topics he raised in the house was well appreciated by the other leaders.
 
Rajeev has already begun working towards fulfilling his new responsibility as CPI (M) district secretary. Under the party’s initiative, several organic farming stalls were put up for sale during Vishu, which turned out to be a great success. The party launched ‘Kanivu Action Force”, a 200-member unit of selected auto drivers and head-load workers trained to help accident victims. A project on organic living is also in the pipeline which is intended to encourage organic farming in flats and villas.
 
 “The party has confided in me a new responsibility as the District secretary of Ernakulam. The way I functioned in the Rajya Sabha would be entirely different to the way I carry out my duties as the district secretary. The new responsibility is more of a collective work as compared to the former and I have already started working towards fulfilling my new role”, Rajeev said.
 
 
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