PM Modi hails Venkaiah Naidu: 'Close companion who was baked in fire of Emergency'

Expressing happiness over releasing the biography and two other books, Modi exuded confidence that the books would inspire people and show the right direction for national service.
Last Updated : 30 June 2024, 10:10 IST

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said he considers former Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu as a close companion who was baked in the fire of the Emergency imposed by the Congress government during which he was jailed for 17 months.

Releasing three books on Naidu, including a biography, Modi said the journey of Naidu, from being a farmer's son to occupying high-ranking positions as Union Minister and Vice President, is a "perfect glimpse" of the amalgamation of ideas, vision and personality.

The books released by the Prime Minister were the biography 'Venkaiah Naidu – Life in Service', photo-chronicle 'Celebrating Bharat – The Mission and Message of M Venkaiah Naidu as 13th Vice–President of India'  and pictorial biography in Telugu 'Mahaneta – Life and Journey of M Venkaiah Naidu'.

Recalling the Emergency days, he said the Congress tarnished the reputation of the Constitution by imposing the Emergency. "Venkiah-ji was one of our friends who fought with all vigour against Emergency and was jailed for 17 months. That is why I consider him as a close companion who was baked in the fire of Emergency," Modi said.

Modi said no one can match the level of wit, spontaneity, quick counters and one-liners of Naidu, who will be completing 75 years on Monday. 

He referred to Naidu's comment of 'ek hath me BJP ka jhanda aur doosre hath me NDA ka agenda' (BJP's flag in one hand and NDA's agenda in another hand) during the Vajpayee regime to illustrate his capabilities of dishing out one-liners.

“His life is a source of inspiration for the younger generations…These 75 years have been extraordinary and it encompasses magnificent stopovers,” he said.

Naidu chose the Ministry of Rural Development during AB Vajpayee's government despite being a senior in the party as he wanted to serve the villages, farmers and the poor, Modi said.

During Naidu's tenure as Urban Development Minister in his government, Modi said, several initiatives, including Swachh Bharat Mission and Smart Cities Mission, were started.

Speaking on the occasion, Naidu thanked the Prime Minister for releasing the books.

"Development and welfare must go hand in hand. We should not be tempted by these freebies and then make the people lazy. Yes, we must give them a helping hand. You have been giving free ration to crores of people across the country. That should continue as long as it is required. But, at the same time, skill development is the need of the hour," the former Vice President said.

Published 30 June 2024, 10:10 IST

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