An inspiring leader, indeed!

Bandaru Dattatreya and  M Venkaiah Naidu
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Bandaru Dattatreya and M Venkaiah Naidu

Highlights

I do take pride in the fact that I share a very strong personal and family relation with Naidu Ji.

I do take pride in the fact that I share a very strong personal and family relation with Naidu Ji.

Irrespective of ups and downs, we have stood by each other like family members. On multiple occasions, we have discussed various issues of national importance and the development of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. His commitment to ideology and values has always appealed to me. He is thoroughly guided by principles.

Born in a very poor agriculturist's family at Chavatapalem, a remote village in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, M Venkaiah Naidu Ji epitomizes a rare combination of commitment, integrity, simplicity and humility. His concerns for poor people, villages and farmers have always appealed to me. He got associated with the ABVP while studying at VR College, Nellore, under Andhra Pradesh University, Visakhapatnam. For many years, he worked as a Swayamsevak in the RSS before getting into active politics. Inspired by the call of Jayaprakash Narayan, he participated in the 'Smpoorna Kranti Aandolan.' In the Emergency, he was arrested under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) and put behind the jails for more than a year. It was a turning point in the life of Naidu ji. Since then, he has not looked back in his life thanks to his never-say-die spirit and strong determination.

From a student leader to the Vice-President of India, he has had an extremely fulfilling public life but he did not allow himself to become a victim of ego. As usual, he remains the people's leader. A wonderful orator and communicator, people of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh have always held him in high esteem. He was elected as an MLA to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly twice from the Udaygiri constituency in Nellore district, first in 1978 and again in 1983. He is one the most popular national leaders of the BJP from Andhra Pradesh. His performance in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly was exemplary. He made a mark in the politics of Andhra Pradesh at that point of time.

His perseverance and dedication as a politician is a motivating story for all those who wish to make a career in public life. His selfless service to people across the country is a source of inspiration for all. As the national president of the BJP, he also travelled to almost every nook and corner of the country. As a towering leader from South India, he carved a niche for himself at the national level. His ability to lead, mentor and guide was simply outstanding. He led the union of students in his college and Andhra Pradesh University as well.

I look at his ascension to the post of BJP president in 2002 as a natural progression, since he has leadership qualities in abundance. As a Union Minister, he served in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, and Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, and Ministry of Urban Development and left his mark everywhere. He has toured the entire country. He introduced many reforms in all the ministries he headed.

As our Vice-President is also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Naidu Ji conducted the proceedings of the Upper House so brilliantly, without any biases and prejudices. He was equally respected by the members of all parties. His ways of ensuring coordination on the floor of the House to ensure the smooth conduction of the proceedings have very few parallels in our parliamentary annals.

Naidu Ji also mentors Swarna Bharat Trust, an NGO, which works for the holistic empowerment of villages through education, employment and skill training to villagers! His philosophy of life is the guiding principle of Swarna Bharat Trust – to create 'responsible citizens and bring a positive and lasting change in the lives of farmers and women to make them partners in the development of the nation.' He firmly believes in giving back to the roots. Thanks to Swarna Bharat Trust, which has its branch in Vijayawada and Hyderabad, thousands of village people have been trained and employed, giving a big boost to the ease of their lives.

Frankly speaking, I have not come across many leaders like him. Luckily, we have worked together as well. We have a cordial association of over forty years. His grip over various subjects and ability to speak fluently in Telugu, Hindi and English have always fascinated me. So far as discipline and planning are concerned, one needs to learn from him. He does everything so meticulously. He plans things much in advance to rule out any kind of confusion at the last moment. He is very particular about timings and calling back to the people. It is one of his rare qualities that make him different from others.

I do take pride in the fact that I share a very strong personal and family relation with Naidu Ji. Irrespective of ups and downs, we have stood by each other like family members. On multiple occasions, we have discussed various issues of national importance and the development of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. His commitment to ideology and values has always appealed to me. He is thoroughly guided by principles. I still recall our discussions on multiple topics when we were a part of the Union Government first under Prime Minister Late Shri Atal Bihar Vajpayee Ji, and thereafter under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji. I have no hesitation in admitting that I have learnt a lot from him. My regards and best wishes to Naidu Ji!

The writer is Honourable Governor of Haryana.

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