New Delhi: 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.
Ansari chaired the House on the last day of his second term, and members cutting across party lines praised how he conducted the Rajya Sabha for a decade, upholding constitutional and parliamentary values. Modi said that Ansari was leaving behind "great memories" and his "contributions have been important". "You have been a career diplomat, what it means I got to know when I became the Prime Minister. Observing you I saw mannerisms of a career diplomat. "Your diplomatic insights were invaluable, especially when I discussed with you before and after my bilateral visits. I appreciate your insights. I am grateful to you and your talent in leading the way for the nation," Modi said. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is also leader of the House, said it was "a nostalgic occasion" to bid farewell to Ansari "after completing 10 years as a very distinguished chairperson of this House". "You had experiences in various fields of public life. 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". Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad also wished Ansari the best and said he was grateful to the "best" Chairman compared to the others. "You have been running sessions with diplomacy. You are a sportsman too. Now I think you will have time to play golf. I wish Allah give you a long life," Azad said. Tiruchi Selva, a DMK MP from Tamil Nadu, said while Ansari was being praised for his various attributes as a politician, as a Chairman, as a sportsman, he as an individual wanted to say thank you as "we have learned a lot from you". "I had the opportunity to travel abroad with you where I saw a different dimension of you - your magnanimity, tolerance and humility. You were concerned about the country. You have given simple solutions to bigger issues. It is not an exaggeration to appreciate you. Something that I learned from the north Indian members here, 'Kabhie alvida naa kehna'." Ansari has served as India's ambassador to several countries and was India's Permanent Representative to the UN. He has also been Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University. IANS