Hamid Ansari signs off as Vice-President

Hamid Ansari India Tv

With a call to fight intolerance and attacks on minorities, Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari said goodbye today after ending his second consecutive five-year term.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday praised the diplomatic insights of Vice President Hamid Ansari, a career diplomat, as the Rajya Sabha bid an emotional farewell to the outgoing Chairman of the Upper House. Your paternal grandfather as well as maternal grandfather happened to be presidents of Congress and also served as members of the Constituent Assembly.

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 couldn't talk like this before but now he is outgoing, in search of a political role he is making such statements that are inappropriate for a person at such a position", Vijayavargiya was quoted as saying by a news channel.

"Yes it is a correct assessment", Ansari said when asked whether he agreed with the assessment that the Muslim community is apprehensive and that it was feeling insecure as a result of the kind of comments made against them. "It really reflects the strength of the parties in the state. The chair is just an umpire in cricket and its only source of reference is the Rule Book", said Ansari in his parting shot as he recited Urdu couplets and bid adieu amid a standing ovation from all members.

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Modi said that Ansari was leaving behind "great memories" and his "contributions have been important". "And I am not the only one in the country; a great many people feel the same way". "We hope this tradition will continue", the SP leader said.

In hard-hitting remarks during an interview to Rajya Sabha TV, he ascribed the spate of vigilante violence, mob lynchings, beef bans and "Ghar Wapsi" campaigns to a "breakdown of Indian values" and to the "breakdown of the ability of the authorities" to enforce the law. Majority appreciated his constant endeavour to stick to the rules and not allowing any legislation to be passed during din.

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

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that Hamid Ansari has contributed to the quality of debate with his wisdom.

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