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Would have retired from politics in 2019, says vice president-elect Naidu

Naidu had told his wife that he would relinquish politics in 2019 after ensuring Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister for the second term. 

india Updated: Aug 09, 2017 01:35 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Venkaiah Naidu,Vice President-elect,Vice President of India
Vice President-elect M Venkaiah Naidu with his wife and family members in New Delhi, on August 5.(Arvind Yadav/HT File Photo)

Vice President-elect M Venkaiah Naidu said on Tuesday that he would have retired from politics after 2019 had he not been chosen for the country’s second-highest Constitutional office.

Reacting to expressions of sympathies pouring in for him on being forced to quit his active political career, Naidu told a gathering in Hyderabad that he had told his wife long ago that he would relinquish politics in 2019 after ensuring that Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister for the second term.

“I would be turning 70 by then, and as a matter of principle, I would have retired from politics. But circumstances have forced me to quit politics two years in advance,” he said, in what he described as his last public speech before being sworn in as Vice President of India on August 11.

Naidu was speaking at a function on the release of the Telugu edition of the compilation of his speeches within and outside Parliament, besides his articles published in various newspapers and journals.

Admitting that he would not be able to move freely and interact with public as openly as he wished because of protocol restrictions, the veteran leader rejected the arguments that he would have to virtually lead a prison life in his new position.

“Well, I had experienced how the prison life would be, thanks to Emergency. So, I am not worried about the life I am going to experience it. Though there could be limitations and restrictions on my life, I am sure I would be able to find a way out to be a people’s man. I may not speak about politics, but I think I can speak on the issues concerning the people and the nation,” he said.

Naidu said he had never aspired for any posts and positions in his five decades of political career. “It was just an accident that I had to adorn so many positions — right from MLA to the Union cabinet minister and from BJP state president to national president; and now, the Vice President of India.”

“But whatever position I held, I did my best to do justice to the job,” he said.

The former BJP MP dismissed notions that he was unwilling to become the Vice President because he was more interested in the Cabinet post.

“Remember, I had resigned from the Union cabinet during the (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee regime to take up the responsibility of BJP president post. And when Vajpayee wanted to take me back in the Cabinet, I told him that it was a demotion for me,” he recalled.

Naidu said he was dead against dynasty politics. “I never encouraged my son or daughter to enter politics, and asked them to focus on their respective activities. As long as I am alive, they will never get into politics,” he said.

First Published: Aug 08, 2017 22:43 IST