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PM Modi hails Venkaiah Naidu's wit, one-liners as Rajya Sabha bids farewell to vice president

In his farewell speech for Naidu in Rajya Sabha, Modi said the outgoing chairman encouraged dialogue and has set standards that will continue to guide his successors
Last Updated : 08 August 2022, 11:14 IST

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and MPs cutting across party lines on Monday showered praises on Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu recalling how he inspired them, regaled them with witty one-liners and promoted vernacular languages while being strict in the House to ensure it functions smoothly.

In farewell speeches to Naidu in Rajya Sabha as his term as Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman ends on Wednesday, some of the lawmakers also wanted him to write a bare-all autobiography which they believed will strengthen the country's democracy.

Complimenting him for increasing the productivity in Rajya Sabha, Modi said, "your one-liners are wit-liners and win-liners as well. There is nothing left to be said after that. Your every word is heard, preferred, revered and never countered."

Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge said they belonged to different ideological streams and urged him to continue to work for inclusiveness, protecting the Constitution and promoting the idea of unity in diversity.

Quoting a couplet as he will be demitting office, Kharge said, "if you search, you may find one. But who can be like you? After you, maybe the atmosphere changes. After you, what is the guarantee that we will be able to tolerate." Naidu's successor Jagdeep Dhankar, a controversial former West Bengal Chief Minister, will take over on August 11.

Naidu turned emotional and his eyes welled up as Trinamool Congress floor leader Derek O'Brien referred to him as losing his mother, who was gored to death by a bull when he was one year old. In subtle references to controversial incidents, O'Brien hoped that Naidu would give answers to certain questions in his autobiography in the future.

O'Brien wanted to know why he did not preside over the House when the government controversially went ahead passing the now repealed farm laws. He also reminded him about his September 2013 speech on fuel price hikes when he was an Opposition MP.

"Some day, you will give an answer...I remember one more speech in March 2013 when you spoke about phone tapping. We tried raising Pegasus but we did not get an opportunity," he said.

AAP's Sanjay Singh said he wants to apologise to him if he had hurt him through his conduct in the House while raising people's issues. "It is nothing personal," he said adding in a lighter vein, "you should not stop inviting us to have lunch and dinner."

CPI(M)'s John Brittas said he has no hesitation in telling that Naidu is a "living example of the country's great diversity" though both belong to different ideologies.

"I have a reason to tell this at a time the chorus is getting shriller about bringing in uniformity of behaviour, culture, food etc. You stand tall as a lampost of rich diversity this country is and should be...You will go down in history as the President this country missed...I feel you are leaving at a time when we need you more," he said.

While DMK's Tiruchi Siva said Naidu was a "lion" in the House who could discipline everyone and urged him to write his memoirs, which will be “your real contribution to the posterity of this country", BJD's Sasmit Patra recalled, "on 7 February 2020 when I spoke in Odiya in the Zero Hour for the first time 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 a lifetime."

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Published 08 August 2022, 08:14 IST

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