NEW DELHI: ON the last day of outgoing vice president Hamid Ansari’s tenure, vice president-elect M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday rejected as “political propaganda” the view that there is a sense of insecurity among minorities in the country, apparently as a rejoinder to Ansari.
Though Naidu did not name anyone, his comments were seen as a response to Ansari’s remarks in a TV interview that there was unease and a sense of insecurity among Muslims in the country, and that “ambience of acceptance” is now under threat.
“Some people are saying minorities are insecure. It is a political propaganda. Compared to the entire world, minorities are more safe and secure in India and they get their due,” Naidu said. He also disagreed with the view that there is growing intolerance, saying the Indian society is the most tolerant in the world because of its people and civilisation.
Leaders from across the political spectrum showered rich praise on Hamid Ansari whose tenure came to an end on Thursday after a decade-long stint.
Besides Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former PM Manmohan Singh, leader of the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad and members of political parties accorded a warm farewell recalling Ansari’s contributions in enriching he House’s functioning.
Referring to Ansari’s career, Modi said his tenure as a career diplomat was focussed on West Asia and he had been associated with the “same kind of atmosphere, same kind of ideology and same kind of people”. Terming Ansari as his friend, philosopher and guide, Manmohan Singh said he had received maximum possible guidance and cooperation from the outgoing chairman.
Yechury retires from RS
Another leader who retired from the Rajya Sabha on Thursday was CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury. BJP member Dilipbhai Pandya and TMC member D Bandopadhyay also retired from the Upper House.