Occasional aberrations notwithstanding, the Indian Constitution had matured over the years with frictions between the Centre and the states declining, said Vice-President-elect M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday.
“In spite of occasional aberrations in the working of the Constitution, the unitary-federal mechanism has matured over the years, with frictions between the Centre and the states steadily declining,” he said at a felicitation ceremony here.
The decline in frictions was happening with consolidation and manifestation of the spirit of cooperative federalism, he reiterated at the event organised by Bengaluru citizens.
Naidu, 68, represented Karnataka as a lawmaker in the Rajya Sabha for three consecutive terms till May 2016.
Noting that the executive was becoming more sensitive to the need of empowering citizens to fulfill aspirations of a young India, Naidu, who will be sworn-in on August 11 said competition among the states was more evident.
“Rajya Sabha is the federal chamber of Parliament, with a mandate to protect the interests of the states. I deem it an honour to preside over it as its Chairman. I feel happy that I am the second person after B.D. Jatti to get such an opportunity, with deep connections with the soil of Karnataka,” he said.
Karnataka-born Jatti was the fifth Vice-President from 1974 to 1979. He was also Acting President from February 11 to July 25, 1977.
As a believer in equal partnership of the states and the union in the country’s progress, Naidu said he visited all the states to know their problems in implementing the various welfare schemes when he was the Rural Development Minister in the Vajpayee government (1999-2004) and continued over the last three years as a Union Minister.
According to Naidu, the country’s name stood for “Integrated, National, Development, Impacting, All citizens equally”.
“India belongs to all of its citizens irrespective of their place of birth, caste, creed, religion and status,” he said.
Lauding the Indian polity, Naidu said its strength and majesty was in full play during the last two weeks when two “humble sons of the country” were chosen to the two highest constitutional posts of President and Vice President.
“Soon after I was announced as the Vice Presidential candidate, my first thought was to visit Karnataka after my election. I owe a lot to the people of Karnataka for choosing me as one of their representatives for 18 long years. I am here to thank its people for taking me warmly in their lap for such a long time,” said Naidu, who hails from the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
Union Ministers H.N. Ananth Kumar and D. V. Sadananda Gowda, former Chief Justice of India M. N. Venkatakachaliah and BJP’s state unit president B.S. Yeduyurappa were present on the occasion.