- Hamid Ansari's second term as Vice President ends tomorrow
- He chaired Rajya Sabha for 10 years
- Tributes paid by PM Modi, Arun Jaitley, other top MPs
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Mr Ansari's insights as a career diplomat proved immensely useful when "I had discussions with you before and after my bilateral visits".
Mr Ansari's second term as Vice-President ends today. For 10 years, he has served as the Chairman of the Upper House. The 80-year-old's stamina won praise from the Prime Minister, who is a regular practitioner of yoga, and spoke of Mr Ansari being "physically fit". Similar commentary was offered by Derek O'Brien of the Trinamool Congress, who revealed, "You do yoga every morning and go for a walk every evening. It makes you look so young. My colleagues would be surprised to know that you have not had lunch for the last 40 years... and probably that keeps you so fit."
In an interview to Rajya Sabha TV, Mr Ansari struck a note of caution, warning that Muslims in the country are feeling insecure amid a sense of growing intolerance - "the ambience of acceptance" is at risk, he said, adding that he had shared his concerns with the Prime Minister and his cabinet.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, also the leader of the House, referred to the frequent chaos that erupts in the Rajya Sabha and reminded Mr Ansari that he once called the Rajya Sabha "a federation of anarchists" which forged a debate on whether "anarchist" could be used in the context of the House.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said Mr Ansari can now indulge in his hobbies. "I think you will have time to play golf," he joked.
Mr Ansari had previously served as India's ambassador to several countries and was India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations.