Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during whose tenure Hamid Ansari had become the Rajya Sabha Chairman, today hailed his contribution in the House and said the country keeps on progressing despite challenges largely because of people like him. Bidding farewell to Ansari in the Rajya Sabha on his last day, Singh said he had received maximum possible guidance and cooperation from the outgoing Chairman. The Congress leader said he has often wondered what keeps this country despite challenges. He then quoted an Urdu couplet of Iqbal which says, "Kuch baat hai ki hasti mit-ti nahin hamari; warna sadiyon raha hai dushman daur-e-zaman hamara. (There is something about us that despite adversity, we survive)." "When I reflect on India's history, the tensions, the challenges that our country faces from time to time.
Yet it keeps on going, progressing..., it is largely because people of your capacity have guided this country in various capacities from time to time," Singh said to Ansari. Singh also described Ansari as his friend, philospher and guide. He recited another couplet to wish Ansari a long life. "May you live a thousand years, with each year comprising a thousand days," he said. Ansari was the Rajya Sabha Chairman due to his position as the Vice President of India. He was elected as the Vice President 10 years back after the then UPA government nominated him to the post.