Union Ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Rajiv Pratap Rudy on Friday described former Cabinet colleague and incumbent Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu as a common man’s politician with the cause of farmers and poor close to his heart.
Speaking about the book “Tireless Voice, Relentless Journey”, a compilation of Naidu’s select parliamentary speeches and articles, Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the book provides an insight into the country’s political history.
The book was released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 4. The two Ministers were speaking about the book at a function at the Constitution Club here.
“If one needs to understand the political history of the last two-and-half decades, and wants inputs on topics such as Kashmir militancy, Tamil Nadu fishermen’s issues, farmers’ issues, about the north-east and socio-political changes during this period, this book is a good source,” Rudy said.
He said Naidu’s connect with the common man was evident in his speeches and articles.
“Recently, he asked me if as Vice President can he travel in a commercial airline with commoners? I said even if they allow you, it will cause inconvenience to the fellow passengers due to protocol,” Rudy said.
Naqvi recalled how once as Bharatiya Janata Party President in the early 2000s, Naidu asked him to arrange a public meeting in Srinagar’s Sher-e-Kashmir park at the height of militancy.
“We reluctantly made arrangements and expected around 150-200 people to turn up. At the height of insurgency, it was difficult to expect people to come to a BJP meeting. In the end, 10-12 people turned up. As the convenor, I was embarrassed but Venkaiah ji told me not to worry and spoke for half an hour addressing those dozen-odd people,” Naqvi said.
“Later, he took a boat ride in the Dal Lake and interacted with the common people. Such is his conviction and temperament,” he added.
Naqvi said the focus of Naidu’s social and political activities has been the poor and farmers and this was evident from his speeches.