When PM Narendra Modi paid a surprise visit to then-Vice President Hamid Ansari’s office

By: |
January 28, 2021 4:40 PM

Hamid Ansari, a two-time VP and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, who served between 2007 to 2017, recalled the incident in his book "By Many a Happy Accident: Recollections of a Life".

Narendra Modi Hamid AnsariAccording to the book, PM Narendra Modi also asked Hamid Ansari why content on the Rajya Sabha TV is not favourable to the government. (Pic: PIB)

Former Vice President Hamid Ansari has revealed in his book that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had once paid an unscheduled visit to his office. The two-time VP and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha who served between 2007 to 2017, recalled the incident in his book “By Many a Happy Accident: Recollections of a Life”.

He wrote that the incident happened years after his decision as Rajya Sabha chairman that no bills will be passed in the din. He said that while this principle was steadfastly observed throughout his tenure, the decision had brought some discomfort to both UPA and NDA governments. Notably, Ansari was vice president for three years (between 2014 to 2017) during the Narendra Modi government’s first term. Ansari added that while the UPA appreciated his stand and compensated it by managing floor and opposition parties, the NDA, on the other hand, felt that its majority in the Lok Sabha gave it the moral right to prevail over procedural impediments in the Rajya Sabha. He added that an expression of this was conveyed to him somewhat unusually when one day PM Narendra Modi walked into his Rajya Sabha office unscheduled.

This surprised Ansari. He wrote in the book that PM Modi told Ansari that there were expectations of higher responsibilities for him but he was not helping the government. PM apparently referred to not passing of the bills in the din. To which Ansari replied that the Leader of the House and his colleagues when in Opposition, had appreciated the ruling that no bills will be passed in the din and that the normal procedures of obtaining consent will be followed.

According to the book, PM Modi also asked Ansari why content on the Rajya Sabha TV is not favourable to the government. He responded to it by clarifying that he had no control over the editorial content of the Rajya Sabha TV. Ansari further informed the PM that a committee of Rajya Sabha members, in which the BJP was represented, provided broad guidance to the channel for its content.

Talking about his last days in office, Ansari said that he received compliments and complimentary references from all across the party spectrum and even one senior member on the back benches blessed him with a Sanskrit verse and wished him a long life in Upanishadic terms!

Ansari wrote that the PM also participated in that session and while he was fulsome in his compliments to Ansari but was somewhat selective in his reference to his work. The former VP said that PM Modi hardly mentioned Ansari’s period as Chairman, Rajya Sabha in his statement.

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