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Published On: Fri, Aug 11th, 2017

“If you cooperate, I will operate better.” Says Chairman House of Elders Venkaiah Naidu

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VENKAIAHSWEARINGINjpgNEW DELHI : “If you cooperate, I will operate better.” That was M Venkaiah Naidu deploying alliteration as is his wont as he made his debut as chairman of the Rajya Sabha on Friday. He was urging members not to give long speeches while welcoming him in the House in his new role. Naidu is known for his communication skills, quick wit and one-liners.
President Ramnath Kovind administered the oath of office to Naidu, 68, at a brief ceremony in the Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhawan attended by political leaders cutting across party lines.Wearing his trademark white panche (lungi) and white shirt, Naidu took oath in Hindi in the name of god.Naidu told the opposition that he will ensure as the Rajya Sabha chairman that they have a say when legislations are debated but the government will finally have its way as it has the mandate.
If the ruling party has power, opposition must at least have its say. But at the end of the day, democracy says that opposition must have its say and the government must have its way because it is as per the mandate of the people,” Naidu said in his first speech as the Rajya Sabha chairman.

“I will meet your expectations. Everyone among you will get an opportunity but everyone must follow the rules and regulations (of Parliament),” Naidu said in response to welcome speeches by Rajya Sabha members.He said politicians must not look at each other as enemies but as “rivals” in their common endeavour of “working hard to strengthen the country and help people”.
“Democracy is not about numbers but to understand and appreciate each others’ point of view. We must debate, discuss, decide and deliver.”He credited his political success to the “might” and “beauty” of the Indian Constitution. Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Naidu for his various development schemes. “Venkaiah Naidu is a farmer’s son and during his tenure as poverty alleviation minister, he has always upheld the interests of the poor,” said PM Modi while speaking in Rajya Sabha.
erek O’Brien of the TMC welcomed newly elected vice president of India Venkaiah Naidu in 10 couplets in rhyme. He also described the new Rajya Sabha chairman in acronym: NAIDU- N: Now, A: All, I: India, D: Dearest, U: Umpire.

“You are one of the very few who get this auspicious chance to sit on that chair… You have risen from the ground and come from a very humble background, this depicts the best part of our democracy,” Azad said.

Welcoming the new chairman on behalf of the entire opposition, Azad said that it’s twice a responsibility to run the upper house as the members have to meet the expectations of the MLAs who elected them, and the people who elected the MLAs in the first place.
“People like judges, Speaker and chairman Rajya Sabha have a scale behind them to remind us that they are impartial. They have to be just and impartial so that House may function properly…“Our House has double the responsibilities, that is why it must maintain the tradition that no bill passes through this House in the din… Hope that tradition would continue,” Azad said.
the opposition must have its say, the treasury benches must have their way and Parliament will function in a better way when that happens, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. While welcoming new Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, Prasad tried to follow Naidu’s inimitable style of rhyming to convey political statements.“The opposition must have its say, but the treasury benches must have their way. When that happens, the Parliament will function better,” he said.
Welcoming Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu, India’s new Vice President as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi this morning noted that “people from a humble, rural background today occupy the highest positions in India. “It showed the “maturity of Indian democracy and the strength of India’s Constitution,” said PM Modi, who sold tea at a stall in Gujarat when he was a young boy.

He talked of how Mr Naidu, a farmer’s son, rose to hold top positions in government, always in touch with his roots. “I always felt that he touched more on villages and farmers …with a greater interest…it has been close to his heart.”Mr Naidu, the Prime Minister said, had risen from the grassroots and would lead Indian polity to greater heights, PM Modi said.
The inference was not lost on the Congress, for decades led by the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. “Rich and poor is not the question,” said the party’s Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is Leader of the Opposition in the Upper House. There were many people, he said, in high posts who came from families of limited means, but added, “salute the society who made this possible but also those who were rich back then. Jawaharlal Nehru was a big lawyer; by today’s standards he might have been earning up to 10 crore a day. Gandhiji had a good family background, that is why he reached South Africa. But people like these sacrificed everything for the nation.”

The Congress leader then reeled off a string of names of leaders who he said “were well-off but sacrificed everything and gave us a nation where anybody can be the President, Vice-President, Army Chief. “Mr Naidu, 68, walked into the Rajya Sabha today to loud cheers and a standing ovation. He was elected earlier this month as Vice President, defeating former West Bengal Governor Gopal Gandhi who was fielded by a joint opposition. A seasoned parliamentarian, Mr Naidu was, till he resigned to contest the vice presidential election, a senior Union Minister. He has also served as the BJP’s president.
PM Modi, who welcomed Mr Naidu as soon as the Upper House convened today, the last day of the monsoon session, said “Mr Venkaiah Naidu is the first Vice President to be born in Independent India. He is the the only VP according to me who has been for years in this (Parliament) complex, among all these people. He is acquainted with all nitty-gritties of all procedures and functions of the House.”Ghulam Nabi Azad too referred to Mr Naidu’s experience as a parliamentarian and hoped that “the legacy of not allowing any Bill to be passed in a jiffy will continue.”
Wearing his trademark white panche (lungi) and white shirt, Mr. Naidu took oath in Hindi in the name of God.While he is the 15th Vice-President, he is the 13th person to hold the constitutional post. His predecessor Hamid Ansari and India’s first Vice-President S. Radhakrishnan had held the post for two consecutive terms.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr. Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, BJP veteran L K Advani, several Union Ministers, Governors and Chief Ministers attended the ceremony. SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, NCP’s Tariq Anwar, CPI leader D Raja, TMC leaders Sudip Bandhopadhyay and Derek O’ Brien and AIADMK’s O Panneerselvam were also seen.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar who has joined hands with the BJP in his state also attended the ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan. After the ceremony, President Kovind, Prime Minister Modi, Mr. Ansari, Mr. Naidu, and Mr.Advani were seen seated together.Born in a humble agricultural family in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district, Mr. Naidu has served as BJP president, Union Minister and held various portfolios and a long-time Rajya Sabha member.



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