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If we cooperate, I operate better: M Venkaiah Naidu
By Our Correspondent, 12/08/2017, New Delhi



Soon after assuming position as the new Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, M Venkaiah Naidu showed his penchant for one liners. "If we co-operate, then I can operate better," he said. Naidu came to the Rajya Sabha after being sworn in as the 15th Vice President by President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Hailing Naidu as a farmer's son, who had risen above life's struggles to reach a high office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it showed "maturity of the Indian democracy and the strength of India's Constitution" that "people from humble, rural backgrounds occupy the highest positions in India today."

Crediting Naidu for envisaging Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY), Modi said, "Such things take place when someone has an affinity towards villages, the poor, farmers, Dalits and the exploited, and takes a vow bring them out of hard times."

Wearing his trademark white lungi and white shirt, Naidu took the oath in Hindi in the name of god. "If the ruling party has power, Opposition must at least have its say. But, democracy says that the Opposition must have its say and the government must have its way because it is as per the mandate of the people," Naidu said.

Reassuring an anxious Opposition, whose speakers repeatedly remind the House that they expect impartiality, Naidu said he was "an all-party man" now and his role was "above politics".

"I will meet your expectations. Everyone among you will get an opportunity but everyone must follow the rules and regulations (of Parliament)," Naidu said, urging members not to look at each other as enemies but as "rivals" in their common endeavour of "working hard to strengthen the country and help people". "Democracy is not about numbers but to understand and appreciate each others' point of view. We must debate, discuss, decide and deliver," he added.

Trying to match Naidu's sense of rhyme, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "The opposition must have its say, but the treasury benches must have their way. When that happens, the Parliament will function better."

Besides PM Modi, ex-vice president Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, BJP veteran L K Advani and various union ministers, governors and chief ministers were present at the ceremony.


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