AMN / NEW DELHI
The Rajya Sabha today welcomed its new Chairman M Venkiah Naidu, who took over the charge today. Congratulating him, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Mr Naidu has arisen from grass root and will lead Indian polity to greater heights. He said Mr. Naidu, who was born into a farmer’s family in independent India, has come to hold high office from his long experience in Parliament. Mr Modi also recalled Mr Naidu’s active participation in students’ movement and the nation-wide agitation led by Jai Prakash Narain. The Prime Minister said the concept of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana was Mr Naidu’s initiative.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the selection of Mr Naidu as Chairman is the victory of country’s democracy and the Constitution. He recalled that Mr Naidu was very much active in public life since his student days. Mr Azad reminded that the tradition of not passing any bill during din, should be followed. Ramgopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party also lauded Mr Naidu’s long experience in public life.
Navneetha Krishnan of AIADMK said Mr Naidu has ability to connect the people of every region of the country. Derek O Brien of TMC expressed the hope that the new Chairman will not allow the passage of any bill in din.
The new Chairman thanked the MPs in his first speech addressed to the House, where he assured everyone that he was now above politics and an “all-party man”.
“I feel humbled by the honour given to me…now I’m an all-party man, above party politics,” said Naidu.
He also promised to give all members equal opportunity.
“I will try to see that this House is functional, everyone of you get an opportunity…the only thing is everybody follows the rules and regulations and procedures, then everybody will definitely get an opportunity,” said the Chairman.
Naidu then went on to read how there were big debates in the Constituent Assembly for the need of the Upper House.
“The Council of States was created as a federal chamber, that is, a House elected by the elected members,” read out the Chairman. He explained how the House born out of a need to hold reflective and evaluative reasoning.
Naidu called upon the members of the House of the “world’s largest democracy” and the “world’s fastest growing economy”, to come together and try to take the country forward.
“Our country needs efficient and effective legislation to administer its processes, mobilise resources, build partnerships, ensure socio-economic resources,” appealed Naidu.
He also listed out multiple challenges faced by the country and asked members to work together to overcome them.
In his speech, the Chairman also focused on how time must be utilised in an efficient manner to realise India’s full potential. He touched upon the idea that the hours of the Upper House can be extended if all members were willing to be united in achieving common national goals.
“Our democratic polity allows flourishing of different ideas, thoughts on a range of socio-economic issues…but adversarial politics should not be allowed to adversely impact the functioning of Parliament, which in turn impacts the progress of our nation,” warned the Chairman.
“We are all Indians and working for the betterment of India,” he added.