People have right to protest, dissent peacefully: Naidu

People have right to protest, dissent peacefully: Naidu

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Arun Jaitley's wife Sangeeta Jaitley release a book 'The Renaissance Man- The Many Facets of Arun Jaitley' in New Delhi

In the backdrop of ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said an enlightened debate on issues faced by the nation is the need of the hour and people have the right to express their dissent but there is no place for violence in a democracy.

Caste and communal colour should not be given while highlighting issues, Naidu said, adding people have to be mobilised and dissent has to be expressed, but in a democratic and non-violent manner.

Making an appeal to political parties and people, he said, "Violence has no place in a democracy. Constitutional methods and violence cannot go together.

"We must agree to disagree. We should not deviate from the issue.... That is my appeal to the people of the country and to the political spectrum of the country."

Speaking at the launch of a book on later BJP leader Arun Jaitley, the Vice President said it is meant for the younger generation and for people who want to join public life.

Turning nostalgic, Naidu said Jaitley is being missed as there is a need for enlightened debate on issues.

"Today as we all introspect... what is happening, there is need for enlightened debate on larger issues and challenges...on issues faced by the country...an enlightened debate and people will be missing Arun Jaitley. An enlightened debate is the need of the hour," he said.

Underlining that issues have to be raised, discussed and articulated in a democratic manner, Naidu said this is missing in these times.

"I feel in politics there is more need for getting people with character, calibre, capacity and conduct. That's the need of the hour. And then you need enlightened public debate," he said.

"But unfortunately people are trying to dilute, deviate and defeat democracy by bringing other 4 Cs -- Caste, Communality, Cash and Criminality.

"This is also we are seeing what's happening in the different parts of the country at different times," he added.

Requesting people and political parties across the board to discuss, debate and provide an enlightened argument on issues, Naidu said the judgement should be left to the masses.

At the same time, he said, at the end of the day democracy means whoever gets mandate of the people, but then in between people have the right to protest and express dissent. "But it should be done in a peaceful manner."

"We should never try to give caste colour and communal colour. If your are burning something it is criminality so we must burn that burning mentality, see to it that we go back to democratic methods," he said.

As he was unveiling the book, an emotional Naidu said he finds it difficult to come to terms with the bitter fact that Jaitley is no more.

Within a short span, Naidu said, he lost two of his closest friends, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, and both of them were like family members to him. PTI JTR RT RT

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