PM to Ansari: You can now follow your basic ideology and instinct

'There is no better country than India for Muslims and no better friend than Hindus, ' said Shahnawaz Hussain, a leader of BJP, a right-wing nationalist formation linked to those sectors by the opposition. He is still the vice president and such comments do not suit his office's dignity. Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked him for his services to the nation and said Ansari had done his best to uphold the Constitution, PTI reported. Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien appreciated Ansari for extending the working hours of the Rajya Sabha's day from 5pm to 6pm. "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".

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders sharply reacted to outgoing Vice President Dr Hamid Ansari's statements expressing concern over the "growing insecurity among minorities, specifically the Dalits, Muslims and Christians".

Rajya Sabha MP Paresh Rawal on Thursday fired a sardonic salvo at outgoing Vice-President Hamid Ansari over his remarks about Muslims of the country.

Speaking to media as he prepared to assume office, Naidu said, "Agenda of politics should be development".

In the interview, Ansari also spoke about incidents of lynching and "ghar wapsi" and killings of rationalists as a "breakdown of Indian values".

"But to me, every time such a comment appeared or came to my knowledge; I mean my first reaction was that, A: the person is ignorant, B: that he is prejudiced and C: he does not fit into the framework that India has always prided to itself on, which is to be accommodative society", he said.

"I am an Indian and that is it", he said.

Ansari was asked a question on his lecture at the National Law School in Bengaluru earlier this month where he said rejuvenating secularism's basic principles was becoming a challenge. The former diplomat said he fervently hoped that all sections of the House would seek to achieve this laudable objective.

To a poser on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Ansari said, "the problem has always primarily been a political problem".

  • Rogelio Becker