Prime Minister Narendra Modi On Friday said it is a tribute to the Indian democracy that people rise from humble and rural backgrounds to the highest constitutional positions, as he joined members of Rajya Sabha in welcoming M Venkaiah Naidu as the Chairman of the House
Leading the felicitations, Modi said the day holds a historic value as on this day, Khudiram Bose, an 18-year old young revolutionary of the freedom struggle, was hanged by the British.
That event “reminds us of the sacrifice of those who had fought for freedom and the responsibility that it places on all of us,” he said.
A son of a farmer, Naidu joined the student movement on a call given by J P Narayan and has since risen through the ranks to lead the second highest constitutional position in the country, he said, adding that issues concerning farmers and the poor have always been dear to his heart.
The rising of people of humble and poor background to the highest constitutional positions in the country is a tribute to Indian democracy and shows its maturity, he said.
“All constitutional positions today are occupied by poor or sons of farmers or commoners,” he said referring to President Ram Nath Kovind also coming from a similar background.
Prime Minister said that Naidu understands the problems of rural India very well and said he has a sound understanding of agriculture and farming.
“If anyone should be credited for the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna, it has to be Venkaiah ji,” PM Modi said.
Recalling his long association with the new Vice President, the Prime Minister said Naidu has always been sensitive to the needs of rural areas, poor and farmers and his inputs on these issues have been of immense value.
Even as a minister for urban development, he gave more inputs on rural and farmer issues, Modi said, adding that Naidu was the one who gave the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana – a scheme most sought after by the MPs for the development of their constituencies.
He is also possibly the only Vice President who has spent so many years of his life amongst the people, he said.
Modi said Naidu was known for coining acronyms and since he is one who has spent so many years in the Rajya Sabha, there might be an initial discomfort, similar to the one faced by lawyers when one of them becomes a judge.
He expressed confidence that Naidu would rise to the occasion and his conduct would win him accolades from opposition benches as well.
Here is the full speech of Prime Minister in Rajya Sabha