"Rajya Sabha is not a stumbling block, I hope I succeeded in being fair," Ansari said.
Addressing Rajya Sabha for last time as its Chairman, Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Thursday said that the Upper House of the Parliament is not a ‘stumbling block’. “Rajya Sabha is not a stumbling block, I hope I succeeded in being fair,” Ansari said. Speaking on the importance of impartiality in the duty, Ansari said, “chair is like an umpire in cricket or referee in hockey, witnessing the play without becoming a player.”He again expressed his views on position of minorities in the country. “As Dr. Radhakrishnan said ‘a democracy is distinguished by the protection it gives to minorities,” Ansari said. “Democracy is likely to degenerate into tyranny if it doesn’t allow oppressed groups to criticise fairly, freely and frankly policies of Government. He however, also left a message for the minorities. “But, at the same time, minorities also have their responsibilities,” Ansari said.
Earlier, PM Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad also bid farewell to Hamid Ansari. PM Modi said that he got the opportunity to learn on various issues from the latter. “I wish that your leadership will take the country forward in future also,” he said. “You have been a career diplomat, what it means I got to know when I became PM, observing you… I saw mannerisms of a career diplomat. In the last ten years, you have worked within the ambit of the Constitution… Ansariji leaves with great memories, his contribution has been important,” Modi added.
FM Jaitley wished Ansari all the best and praised him for his leadership skills. He also wished him good luck for all his future projects. Ansari, who became vice-president in the year 2007, will be succeeded by Venkaiah Naidu. Ansari’s second five-year term ends today. Vice President-elect M Venkaiah Naidu will be sworn in as India’s new vice president on August 11.