PM leads tributes in Rajya Sabha as Vice-President Hamid Ansari bids farewell

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Condemning the remark, BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said there is no better country for Muslims than India. The party leaders said such comments did not suit his office's dignity.

The prime minister said the various decisions that Ansari took as the chairman of the Rajya Sabha have something concrete to offer.

On his last day in office, Mr. Ansari began his speech by reciting an Urdu couplet: Mujhpe ilzaam itne lagaaye gaye, begunahi ke andaaz jaate rahe [I have been accused (unjustly) so many times, that proving my innocence was hard].

The former vice-chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University - from where he completed his doctorate - was the chairman of the National Commission for Minorities post retirement when the United Progressive Alliance government and the Left named him as their candidate for the vice presidential post. "But dealing with the political fraternity was a different experience all together", Jaitley said, praising how well Ansari did the job which "is very challenging for the reasons that this House unlike in the 1950s and 1960s now has a changed character". "He must read first during which government Muslims were more insecure", Lekhi said.

New Delhi, Aug 10 Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded today the contribution of outgoing Vice President Hamid Ansari as the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, saying he could maintain a delicate balance in the Upper House because of his "intellectual capability and skills".

"I confess I had no difficulty in benefitting from this eminently sensible counsel", Ansari said.

Ansari, whose second five-year term as Vice-President draws to an today, in an interview to Karan Thapar on Rajya Sabha TV, said there was a feeling of unease and a sense of insecurity among Muslims in the country, stating that the "ambience of acceptance" is now under threat.

"I condemn his comments".

"Its only source of reference is the book of rules", he said. That's all. I mean a marriage has to be recognised on certain occasions by the system of the state. "The religious requirement is crystal clear, emphatic, there are no two views about it, but patriarchy, social customs have all crept into it to create a situation which is highly undesirable", he said.

PM Modi joined Rajya Sabha members in the farewell ceremony to convey his best wishes to the outgoing Vice President. "And it has to be addressed politically".

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