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On his last day as Rajya Sabha Chairman, Hamid Ansari was today accorded a warm farewell by leaders from across the political spectrum, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that he had done his best to uphold the Constitution.
Ansari served two terms as the Vice President by virtue of which he was the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha as well.
Members, while bidding farewell to Ansari, recalled his contribution towards enriching Parliament's functioning. Most of them appreciated his constant endeavour to stick to the rules and not allowing any legislation to be passed during din.
Some members also said that his decision to change the timing of the Question Hour from 11 am to 12 pm every day had proved beneficial.
Interestingly, there were also a few remarks of praise vis-a-vis the fitness of the 80-year-old Ansari as well.
In his remarks, the prime minister said, "On behalf of the citizens and both Houses of Parliament, I express gratitutde for the services you have rendered as Vice- President of the nation."
Modi said the outgoing Rajya Sabha Chairman had done his best to uphold the Constitution.
Referring to Ansari's career, he said his tenure as a diplomat was focussed on West Asia and had been associated with the "same kind of atmosphere, same kind of ideology and same kind of people".
The prime minister said that even after retirement from service, Ansari had mostly worked with the Minority Commission and Aligarh Muslim University.
"Your work remained limited in a particular area. But during these 10 years, you had to deal with a different kind of responsibility (in running the House). Each moment, you had to remain confined to the Constitution and you made a good effort.
"There may have been some struggle within you (all these years) but from now onwards, you won't have to face this dilemma. You will have a feeling of freedom and you will get an opportunity to work, think and talk according to your ideology," Modi told the outgoing Chairman.
Talking about Ansari's diplomatic career, the prime minister quipped that the way a diplomat talks or shakes hands, have a meaning and it cannot be understood immediately.
Modi said though he did not have much interaction with Ansari, he had understood a lot from him whenever they met.
"I hope you will continue to guide the nation in moving forward on the path laid down by the Constitution," he added.
Conveying his best wishes to Ansari and wishing him a long life, Modi noted that the outgoing Chairman has also kept himself physically fit.
Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said it was a very nostalgic occasion for both Ansari as well members.
"The chairperson's job is a very challenging job in this House ... This House, unlike in 1950s and 1960s, now has a changed character. It really reflects the strength of the parties in the state.
"The character of this House is that things start with a lot of acromonius debate, noise, disruptions but eventually you would have seen during your tenure that nothing remains indefinitely held up," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)