Prime Minister Manmohan Singh led the House in felicitating Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari on his first day as Chairman of Rajya Sabha after re-election, even as the latter cautioned that the Parliament functioning has to find a balance between discussion and agitation.
“In you, we have a distinguished personality, who has served the country in diverse fields...You have served the country with great distinction,” said Manmohan as soon as the House gathered to meet on Monday morning. “That you have been chosen for the second term to preside over this august House is a tribute to your qualities of head and heart. I, therefore, take this opportunity to felicitate you and to assure you that our government will extend to you the fullest possible cooperation in smooth functioning of the House,” he added, as Ansari’s family members looked on from the visitors’ gallery.
Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said Ansari had given space to every spectrum of opinion to be aired in the upper chamber. “Your re-election is a reaffirmation of the fact that your presence in this office adds to the dignity of the office itself,” he said. Members from all the political parties, including the BJP, BSP and the AIADMK, lauded Ansari’s handling of the House.
In his speech, Ansari said, “The transition in public mood from passive receptivity to active quest, in quantitative and qualitative terms, is real and urgent. Our responses, consequently, have to encapsulate these emerging trends in public perceptions.”
He said the deepening of the democratic process has also opened up numerous points of dissent, necessitating democratic accommodation. “Such accommodation and adjustment are produced through focused discussion, which must remain the creed and dharma of this House. Democratic practice allows room for discussion as well as agitation. However, functioning of the Parliament has to find a balance between discussion and agitation,” said Ansari.