NEW DELHI: Welcoming Vice President Venkaiah Naidu as the Rajya Sabha Chairman on Friday, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad advised the former to be unbiased and give importance to justice above any party or religion.
“When one person is in a particular party, he works his best to spread the party’s ideologies and view point among people. But when the same person becomes a minister, his responsibility turns towards both the party and people of India. There’s a third position, where you (Venkaiah Naidu) are in today and I congratulate you for that; this position reminds us of the fact that we have to unbiased. When one is in this position, wisdom and justice become more important than party or religion,” Azad said in the House.
Azad further praised the beauty of Indian Constitution and thanked the freedom fighters for bringing in a democracy, where anyone has the right to sit in the highest position in the nation.
“Let us even not forget those people who sacrificed themselves, their family, wealth and easy life for the freedom movement of India. Who can forget the contribution of Gandhiji, Jawaharlal Nehru ji, Subhash Chandra Bose, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad?” he said, adding, “their sacrifices gave us a Constitution, according to which, anyone today can become a President, Vice president, Prime Minister, Supreme Court judge, Army General Chief. I salute all those people today.”
“This is the best part of our democracy, which doesn’t judge people in term of rich or poor or family background. There are many people, who are in greater position, without having influential family or wealth. There’s a power behind all these and that’s democracy and constitution,” he said.
The Leader of Opposition also praised Naidu for starting from a grass root level and achieving the position of a Vice President of India with utmost dedication.
“You have been one of those people who started from a grass root level and reached the peak, not only in your party, but also as a Vice President today. It is very inspiring both for the people of your party and the opposition, who work with utmost dedication,” he said.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi too welcomed Venkaiah Naidu as the Rajya Sabha Chairman, saying he is the first Vice President born in the independent India, adding that the former Union Minister knows the workings of the House very well after being active in it for so long.
Praising Naidu for his various rural development schemes, Prime Minister Modi said, "Venkaiah Naidu has gifted the nation with Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. He is a farmer's son and during his tenure as Poverty Alleviation Minister, he has always upheld the interests of the poor.”
Naidu was sworn-in as the 13th Vice President of India today, succeeding Hamid Ansari, in a glittering ceremony.
President Ram Nath Kovind administered him the oath of office and secrecy at Rashtrapati Bhavan here.
Following the ceremonial reception, Naidu took over as the speaker of the Rajya Sabha in the Parliament.
Earlier in the day, he visited Rajghat to pay floral tribute to the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi.
National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee and former union minister Naidu was elected as the 13th Vice President of India with 516 votes.
Opposition nominee Gopalkrishna Gandhi secured 244 votes out of 760 valid votes.
Naidu was elected as a member of the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka in 1998 and was re-elected twice in 2004 and 2010 from Karnataka.
He served as the Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Information and Broadcasting in Prime Minister Narendra Modi Government before he was nominated for the post of Vice President.