PM leads tributes in Rajya Sabha as Vice-President Hamid Ansari bids farewell
Vice-President Hamid Ansari's tenure ends on Thursday.
Hamid Ansari, whose tenure as Vice-President comes to a close on Thursday, was given a farewell in the Rajya Sabha where he has served as Chairman for the last decade.
With Ansari chairing his last session in the Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the tributes as Upper House members expressed their heartfelt gratitude and congratulated the political veteran on his efficient contributions.
After all the farewell speeches, Hamid Ansari delivered his last address in the House, where he thanked the members for accepting him in the Upper House both "individually and collectively."
He said that when his term started ten years ago, an eminent leader had advised him to keep his calm during the chaos in the Rajya Sabha and the suggestion served to be useful.
Emphasising on the effectual functioning of democracy, Ansari upheld that the status of minority groups is a measure of democracy. Quoting India's first Vice-President Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, he said that the Opposition's opportunity to question government policies is what keeps a democracy from turning into tyranny.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Ansari's extensive experience as a career diplomat, his association with the National Minority Commission and Aligarh University had proved to be useful in maintaining the dignity of the Rajya Sabha.
Modi also praised Ansari's wisdom on issues and his "deep insight" on various matters have given him an opportunity to learn.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that Hamid Ansari has contributed to the quality of debate with his wisdom.
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien applauded Ansari's decision to extend the sessions of Rajya Sabha by one hour, giving each speaker an extra three minutes to speak. He added that Ansari's decision to introduce the concept of supplementary answers which enable somebody else to answer a ducked question was the "smartest of all" his moves.
Leader of Opposition, Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "You've been running sessions with diplomacy. You're a sportsman too. Now I think you will have time to play golf. I wish Allah give you a long life."
CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury, whose term as MP ends this month, congratulated Ansari and said that despite their ideological differences, the outgoing Vice-President's wisdom has inspired the minister.Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Ansari a "friend, philosopher and guide".