Rajya Sabha bids farewell to Vice-President Dr Hamid Ansari

Vice President Hamid Ansari

Vice President Hamid Ansari

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said Vice-President Hamid Ansari's experience as a "career diplomat" had come in handy while dealing with his responsibility in the Rajya Sabha. Your paternal grandfather as well as maternal grandfather happened to be presidents of Congress and also served as members of the Constituent Assembly.

He alleged that Ansari made the statement to set his "political agenda".

Mr Ansari, who has been the Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman for 10 years, said a decade is a long time in the life of an individual.

He was speaking on the issues of cow vigilante attacks, mob lynchings and people not shouting "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" being told to leave the country.

Asked specifically about his speech on Sunday in which he spoke about a nationalism with cultural commitments at its core being perceived as the most conservative and illiberal form of nationalism, and whether the remark was about the mood of the country in 2017, he replied: "Oh, absolutely".

Condemning the remark, BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said there is no better country for Muslims than India. It's only source of reference is the book of rules, said Ansari.

Ansari said: "Deviation from the golden rule contributes neither to diligent policymaking nor to our claim to be a mature democracy based on rule of law". Samajwadi Party member Ram Gopal Yadav said Ansari conducted the House without any discrimination and never allowed any legislation to be passed in din.

Thapar asks, "I want to use this moment vice-president to talk about the general situation in the country today because I know it is one that concerns the large sections of the country". "We hope this tradition will continue", the SP leader said. The Vice President is the Chairman of Rajya Sabha. Appreciating Ansari's record of not allowing any bill to be passed in din, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said the decision to shift the Question Hour timing from 11 am to noon has yielded good results as more questions are now taken up.

He also wondered if Ansari was looking for "political shelter" after retirement.

"What passes between the Vice-President and the Prime Minister in the nature of things must remain in the domain of privileged conversation", he said.

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