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Members across political divide are rivals, not enemies: Venkaiah Naidu at farewell in Rajya Sabha

New Delhi : Urging members to maintain decency, dignity and decorum so that the image and respect of the House is maintained, outgoing Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said on Monday that members across political divide were not enemies but rivals and they must work hard to outshine each other like competitors but not to run down each other. In his remarks at the farewell in the Rajya Sabha where members cutting across party lines praised his handling of the House, Naidu said he will be moving around and talking to people on larger issues. Naidu said he had tears in his eyes after his name was decided as Vice Presidential nominee of the ruling NDA as he had to leave the BJP. "On the day, when I was selected to be the Vice-President of India and when the Prime Minister and the then President of the Party, to which I belong, told me in the Parliamentary Board meeting that I was being selected, I was in tears. I did not ask for this. But you know, as a disciplined soldier of the party and as the party had given the mandate, I obliged, and I resigned from the party," he said. "There were tears not because of my shirking the responsibility but because I had to leave the party which had given me all this. That was the occasion. Otherwise, there was no problem at all. I did my best to maintain the dignity of the House and I tried to accommodate all sides -- South, North, East, West and North-East. I tried to give opportunity to all sides of the House. I might not have given them enough time that they wanted but each one of you have been given time, whether it is Zero Hour or Special Mentions or Question Hour or discussion and debates on the Bills," he said. He said people want the House to discuss, debate and decide. "They do not want the other D, that is, disrupt. Members always say, 'Please do not pass the Bill in the din'. I do agree. For that, simple solution is that do not create din and do not pass the Bill in the din. This is my advice to all and also for the future because whoever is going to occupy the Chair will have to follow the precedents and go by the decisions taken earlier," Naidu said. He said India is world's largest parliamentary democracy and the members of the upper House of Parliament have a greater responsibility in the legislative structure. "The entire world is watching India. India is on the rise. India is on the move. I appeal to the members of the Rajya Sabha and to those who are going to come to this House in future, to maintain decency, dignity and decorum so that the image and respect of the House is maintained and people will be receptive to show us, to hear us and also to follow our advice," he said. Noting that people watch proceedings of the House, Naidu said sometimes he has had act strictly to maintain decorum but he was not happy naming members. "It gives me no enjoyment to take such extreme action. I have no ill-will against anybody or any party." Naidu said he will later speak regarding normal feeling about politicians and all. "I don't want to utilize this forum. The respect is declining everywhere because value systems are declining." He said members should follow the democratic principles and the standards set by great leaders. "I am not of that type as people often talk, either it is precedent, or dissident and, otherwise, resident. I am not going to do this. I never asked for precedent, never became a dissident or never confined to residence. I will be moving around -- going around, meeting, greeting and talking to you all on larger issues. I will not get into politics, as I told you. We are all working in our own ways. We are not enemies; we are rivals." "We must work hard to outshine each other like competitors but not to run down each other. This is my last advice to all of you. My wish is, Parliament functions well," he added. He said there are many members who are very good speakers when given opportunities. "I see even the new Members coming prepared and making great contribution. Brilliant speeches are made. Sometimes, brilliance is lost because of disturbances." He said that media does not adequately report constructive debates. "Unfortunately, in our country, the weakness is that the media also does not report if you speak constructively. If you speak obstructively and do something unusual, it gets coverage. It is weakness of the media, and media should get out of it at the earliest without trying to give some reasons here and there." Noting that the issue of language is quite dear to him, Naidu said he was happy that the President, the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice are speaking in not the same language "but in the same vein on respecting our respective mother tongues". "First mother tongue, afterwards brother tongue or any other tongue, no problem. But, primacy should be given to mother tongue. Please encourage mother tongue in your respective areas. I would like to see in my lifetime that the Parliament, the Assemblies and also the school, college, university, vocational courses and also the administration, everything should be carried in their respective state official languages and there can be translation," he said. "There should be translation. I told the Secretariat and I am telling you all today, before I leave, there has to be a permanent mechanism. I will come to sign that file on (August) 10th morning. I told them whether the House is there or not that for all speeches, translation should be made available, not at request even otherwise also. That is the process that has to start," he added. He said Indian languages should be encouraged. "The administration also, and also, I want to the see the arguments in courts, district courts, High Courts and Supreme Court, also in respective Indian is because people who come to the courts, they do not know English. They will not be able to understand the judgements. So, it should be. But it will take time, I am aware of it. An honest beginning has to be made, and we all should move in the direction and having communication in our respective mother tongues, that is, encourage Indian languages," he said. Naidu said he is thankful to the Prime Minister who has given him love and affection. "I am thankful to all the ministerial colleagues who have all responded to my queries any time for consultation on larger developmental issues. I would like to thank the Leader of the Opposition and other leaders on this side who have cooperated with me and also the Members from different political parties who have given a helping hand and who have all today participated in the discussion and said so many good things about me. I am really moved by your love and affection," Naidu said.

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