Members laud Naidu's role as RS Chairman, urge him to write autobiography
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.Kharge, who spoke after Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered his farewell speech for Naidu, recalled the outgoing vice presidents 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.
Members cutting across party lines Monday bade farewell to vice president M Venkaiah Naidu, lauding his role as Rajya Sabha 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''.
Kharge, who spoke after Prime Minister Narendra 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 consensus on women's reservation bill, the Congress veteran said, ''I hope the government will complete the work which you have left unfinished''.
''You have a different ideology and my ideology is known. I may have some complaints. But this is not the time to make complaints, as you performed your role under difficult circumstances and under pressure, for which I thank you and appreciate you,'' Kharge said.
He also appreciated the outgoing chairman for encouraging members to speak in their mother tongues and encouraging MPs from non-Hindi belts to speak in Hindi.
He recalled how Naidu used to say a politician neither retires nor gets tired, and expressed hope he would be more active in public life and keep guiding the youth. ''As PM said, you will neither retire from public life nor get tired.'' He also talked about how the Chairman conducted the House during Covid, but said the Lok Sabha TV and the Rajya Sabha TV should not have been merged.
Tiruchi Siva (DMK) said, ''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.'' Siva said Naidu was ''lion'' in the House who could discipline everyone. Only in the 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 turned emotional when Derek O'Brien (TMC) narrated an incident from Naidu's early life when he lost his mother as a one-year-old.
''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 on 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 of 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''. V Vijay Sai Reddy (YSRCP) said every Telugu person in the world is proud that Naidu chaired this House. ''You have made all nine crore Telugu people proud. Your political rise is an inspiration to all of us. When you rise we all feel as if we have risen.'' Ramdass Athawale (RPI-A) recalled how Naidu would adjourn the House within a minute of uproar and did not allow the Opposition members to create a din in the house.
Sasmit Patra (BJD) said he does not want to bid him farewell, as he hopes to see him on and on. ''With your simplicity, with your charm, dedication and commitment, you have won the hearts of all of us.'' ''On February 7, 2020 when I spoke in Odiya in the Zero Hour for the first time when you said and sent me a note saying ''you spoke well'' in Odiya. For me, this is a memory of a lifetime. This note from you in Odiya will remain with me for the lifetime,'' Patra noted. ''Your presence in the Chair is very reassuring, your presence in the Chair gives us strength and also inspires not only MPs but also the youth of the country,'' he said, quoting Robert Frost. ''You have miles to go and you will continue to inspire us everyday. Thank you for your words of wisdom, for your leadership and thank you for your service to the nation,'' he said.
Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) said now that Naidu is free from all protocols, he can speak his mind freely. ''I expect you to speak freely whenever you have to in the interest of the country and the Constitution.'' Sanjay Singh (AAP) said he feels very fortunate to have received guidance and affection from Naidu. ''I feel sorry if I have committed any mistake in these 4.5 years. There was nothing personal, it was only in the interest of the country and people's issues.'' Recalling Naidu's contributions the House, John Brittas (CPI-M) said, ''I feel you are leaving at a time when we need you more.'' Binoy Viswam (CPI) said even though he differed with Naidu on many issues, he has utmost regard for him.
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