NEW DELHI, Aug 8:
Members cutting across party lines bade farewell to vice president M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday in Rajya Sabha, lauding his role as its chairman and recollecting how he inspired and allowed them to speak in their native languages.
While some Opposition members urged him to pen an autobiography, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge appreciated how Naidu functioned despite being “under pressure”.
Noting that the productivity of the House increased under Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the outgoing chairman encouraged dialogue and his legacy will continue to guide his successors.
He worked on the principle that ‘let the Government propose, let Opposition oppose, let the house dispose’, the prime minister said.
“One of the admirable things about Naidu is his passion for Indian languages. This was reflected in how he presided over the House,” Modi said, adding as chairman he encouraged the use of the mother tongue. On Naidu’s famous one-liners, the Prime Minister said “they are wit-liners. There is both depth and substance in what Naidu says.”
Naidu turned emotional when Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien narrated an incident from the Vice President’s early life when he lost his mother as a one-year-old.
“From that early loss, you went on to do so many things in your glorious career… I am sure it will make a good story for your autobiography…Which you must write,” he said.
Referring to the passage of the farm bills in the House in September 2020, the TMC MP said it was a “very important day about my outlook about you…Maybe you will answer that question someday in your autobiography”.
The day this House passed the farm bills, you were not in the Chair, O’Brien recalled.
He said Naidu has always urged both the Opposition and the Government to talk and resolve issues. Talking about the productivity of Rajya Sabha, he said there is another side to this argument.
As you leave the House, he said, “you have at least 20 years to offer in public life. There are issues which you will address because I know, autobiography or no autobiography, you will speak your mind and will guide us”.
DMK’s Tiruchi Siva said Naidu was a “lion” in the House who could discipline everyone.
“We are bidding you farewell only because it is customary, but we can never do so. On behalf of my party DMK and my fellow colleagues, my special regards to you,” he said.
Only in Rajya Sabha can a member speak in any of the 22 scheduled languages and Naidu made that happen, he said.
He also recorded that there has been a custom of using the word “beg” while making a request to the chair, but Naidu got the word removed and upheld the dignity of the members as well as the honour of the House.
“I request you Sir, please write your autobiography which will be your real contribution to the posterity of this country. We will miss you, Sir,” Siva said.
Naidu completes his five-year term on August 10.
Kharge, who spoke after Prime Minister Modi delivered his farewell speech for Naidu, recalled the outgoing Vice President’s long political career and said he will neither retire from public life nor get tired.
The Congress leader said he has known Naidu for 30-40 years, from the time he was the general secretary of the BJP-Karnataka. He said that as Rajya Sabha chairman, Naidu took several steps to bring changes.
Noting that Naidu favoured reaching a consensus on the women’s reservation bill, the Congress veteran said, “I hope the Government will complete the work which you have left unfinished.” (PTI)
NEW DELHI, Aug 8: