Amaravati: If Andhra Pradesh would have been bifurcated in 1972 itself, when the Jai Andhra protest took place, both AP and Telangana might have witnessed tremendous development, observed Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday, while speaking at a civic reception hosted by the AP government in Amaravati to felicitate him. Naidu said that he actively took part in the Jai Andhra protests during those days.
After a ceremonial reception at the airport, the vice-president was brought to Vijayawada in an open-top jeep from Gannavaram. Thousands of school and college students, self-help group women and others lined up along the 24-km route to greet the Vice President on his maiden visit to the home state after assuming the top post.
Expressing his gratitude, Naidu said that he will never forget the felicitation ceremony organised by the TDP government under the leadership of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, adding that the felicitation increases his responsibilities. Naidu promised that he would bring glory to the chair that he occupied as Vice-President, and said that though he has retired from politics officially, he will continue to serve the country. In his inimitable witty style, Naidu quipped, “I am retired (from active politics) but not tired.” “In my 45-year-long political career, I have occupied several important positions and done justice to them with full dedication and commitment. As the vice president, I shall work with the same dedication and commitment and bring glory to the position,” he said.
Note of caution
Naidu cautioned that democracy might fail if the legislative bodies did not discharge their functions properly. “Legislative bodies — Parliament and (state) legislatures — have a high significance in a democracy. But now there is an amount of despondency and depression among people over the functioning of these institutions. “People are slowly getting disillusioned by certain acts of certain people, irrespective of the party they belong to. This is not good for democracy,” he noted. “If the legislative bodies do not function properly, democracy will be weakened. There is also a threat of democracy failing,” he apprehended.
Naidu stressed on the need for legislative bodies becoming the fora for meaningful discussions and making purposeful legislations. They should push the country forward on a path of meaningful development, he said. “The legislative bodies should act in such a manner that people should come to view them as ones enriching development and not blocking it. Going by what’s happening in (village) panchayats, urban local bodies, state legislatures and Parliament, people are anguished. “There’s a sense of deprivation among people that the legislative bodies are not functioning as per their desires and wants. We have to set this right.”
On Rajya Sabha
Naidu, who is also chairman of the Rajya Sabha, said that he would make the Rajya Sabha a proactive House and will try to uphold the dignity of the Upper House of Parliament while presiding over it. “With the cooperation of members, I shall make the Rajya Sabha the Elders’ House that thinks and also makes people think,” Naidu maintained.
Chandrababu Naidu observed that Venkaiah Naidu was the pride of Telugu people, and said that the Vice-President was known for his time management and dedication.
He said that though Venkaiah Naidu was born and brought up in a family of farmers, he rose to the high post through his skills.
Addressing the gathering, Governor ESL Narasimhan stated he personally witnessed the help extended by Venkaiah Naidu to Andhra Pradesh during the bifurcation of united AP. Narasimhan recalled his association with the veteran politician and the latter’s disciplined life that brought him to the present position. “After he became the Vice-President, I asked Venkaiah ji about his dress. A man full of wit, Venkaiah ji said ‘Only my address has changed and the dress remains the same’. We are so proud of such a man,” the Governor said.
Union Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapati Raju, Minister of State Y S Chowdary, Assembly Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, Chief Secretary Dinesh Kumar and Director General of Police (in charge) N Sambasiva Rao, among others, were present.
Naidu lays foundation stone for govt housing project
Amaravati: Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday laid the foundation stone for the construction of 2.25 lakh houses under the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (Urban) in Andhra Pradesh.
Just a day before relinquishing office as Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister in July, Naidu sanctioned these 2.25 lakh houses to the state, in addition to the 1.93 lakh approved in 2015-16. These 2.25 lakh houses will be built in 95 cities and towns at a total cost of Rs 14,140 crore, including a Central assistance of Rs 3,379 crore. The aggregate 4.13 lakh houses is the highest number any state has got out of the total 26 lakh PMAY houses across the country.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu thanked Venkaiah for this and also praised the latter for bringing many projects to Andhra Pradesh after the bifurcation in 2014. “He has given us the highest number of houses and also helped us in getting many Central projects and funds post bifurcation,” the chief minister added. PTI