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Hamid Ansari signs off as vice president after rare two terms

12 August 2017, 12:35 | Myrtle Vega

Rajya Sabha bids farewell to Vice-President Dr Hamid Ansari

Hamid Ansari Narendra Modi Hamid Ansari minorities remarks vice president Venkaiah Naidu BJP Congress India news

Stating that he had flagged the issue of intolerance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet colleagues, Ansari, 80, also described as a "disturbing thought" that Indianness of citizens was being questioned.

Modi further said, "Most of your tenure as career diplomat was spent in West Asia".

Soon, as Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Ansari melted political hearts and after a couple of sessions of Parliament even the cynics could be heard praising the dimunitive, smiling, figure as he reached out to shake a hand, or saluted the other with a cheerful "adaab".

Speaking in the RS on Hamid Ansari's last day in office as Vice-President, PM Modi said, "Your family has been in public life for nearly hundred years". "There may have been some struggle within you [all these years], but from now onwards, you will not have to face this dilemma". Speaking at the farewell function, PM Modi said the long public life of Ansari has been without any controversy. He is the grand nephew of freedom fighter and former Congress president Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari.

After taking oath as the 13th Vice President of India, Venkaiah Naidu will enter Rajya Sabha at 11am and run the proceedings of the House today as its new Chairman. He is still a vice president and such comments do not suit his office's dignity.

Targeting the outgoing vice-president for his comments, the BJP said such a "petty" remark was not expected from someone in his position.

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At an event in Bengaluru on Sunday, Ansari said the "version of nationalism" that places cultural commitments at its core promotes intolerance and arrogant patriotism.

Jaitley, who had been the Leader of Opposition during the UPA regime, said Ansari's anguish was often visible when the House got disrupted.

Though Naidu did not name anyone, his comments were seen as a response to Ansari's remarks in a TV interview that there was an unease and a sense of insecurity among Muslims, and that "ambience of acceptance" was now under threat.

"Deviation from the golden rule contributes neither to diligent policymaking nor to our claim to be a mature democracy based on rule of law", he said, adding that in this context he would like to recall the words of "the most distinguished of my predecessors, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan". Every moment was spent in the ambit of Constitution and running it (Rajya Sabha).

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad also wished Ansari the best and said he was grateful to the "best" Chairman compared to the others.

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