Tension in debates have no impact: PM

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said tensions often generated during debates in Parliament should have no impact on the country`s unity and integrity. Bidding farewell to retiring members of the Rajya Sabha, he said they would continue to serve the country in different capacities – being the servants of the people.

“When we debate various issues, often there is tension. There are tensions on the surface, but underlying sentiments of all members of this House must be to maintain the unity and integrity of this country,” he said. The Prime Minister also invoked famous poet Iqbal, saying he once said that though the powerful Roman and Greek empires had disintegrated, India had not as there was something special that it continues to be united and together.

“It is this perspective which comes out whenever there is a debate. There is tension on the surface, but underlying that are the sentiments of all the members that we are servants of the people of India. That is a great opportunity given to us to serve our country,” he said. Giving his best wishes and regards to retiring members, Singh hoped some members will return for another term and the experience they have gained in this House will be of enormous help in their public life.

“…After all, public life does not end with not being a Member of Parliament. There are enormous opportunities in this country to serve the people in different capacities…,” he said. The Prime Minister said, “I have been a member of this august House for over 20 years. I do not wish to give names… in this period I have come in contact with some great personalities…Being a member of this august House is a great learning process.”