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Parliament pays tribute to Nelson Mandela; both Houses adjourned for the day

Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned for the day after paying homage to the South African leader. Speaker Meira Kumar and Chairman Hamid Ansari made obituary references as soon as the two Houses met for the day.


Nelson Mandela addresses a rally attended by over 1,00,000 people at Soccer City Stadium in Soweto, 13 February 1990. File pic

Describing Mandela as South Africa's Father of the Nation, Ansari said, "Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi in his long walk and struggle against apartheid, he along with other leaders organised mass boycotts, especially against the laws supporting racial discrimination and oppression."

Kumar said Mandela was conferred Bharat Ratna in 1990 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. She said her visit to Robben Island where Mandela was jailed for 27 years was like a pilgrimage and one of the most inspiring moments of her life.

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi lauded the courage, sacrifice and forgiveness of "Madiba", whom she described as South Africa's Mahatma Gandhi.

"He was a leader who belonged to all humanity...he voluntarily renounced politics after serving as President (of South Africa), though the country wanted him to be President for life," she said.

Home Minister and Leader of Lok Sabha Sushilkumar Shinde said while Mandela fought all his life against injustice, he also battled against illness till he breathed his last.

Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said the foot prints left by Mandela can not be washed away by time. Though people come and go from this world, Mandela will remain immortal, she said.

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