Naidu reaches out to MPs ahead of August 5 VP poll

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New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) NDA’s vice-presidential candidate M. Venkaiah Naidu has reached out to all members of Parliament cutting across party lines, seeking their support for the August 5 election and said he will uphold ideals of the freedom struggle and principles of the Constitution.

In a letter to the parliamentarians, Naidu gave an account of his over four decades of public life including his terms as a member of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly twice and his fourth consecutive term in the Rajya Sabha.

“I can assure you that I will uphold the dignity of office and protect the collective constitutional inheritance,” Naidu said in his letter on Tuesday, which was released to the media on Wednesday.

The voting for the vice-presidential election is secret and MPs comprise the electoral college for the election.

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Naidu has a clear edge over his rival, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, who has the backing of some major opposition parties.

Naidu, in his letter, said on being elected he will “defend and uphold the ideals of freedom struggle, the spirit and principles of Constitution including justice, equality and liberty and cherished values of national unity and integration”.

He spoke of “hard work and passion” with which he brought about changes as Union Minister in the architecture of new schemes, in the decision-making and implementation to ensure involvement of states.

“I am a firm believer in the principle of cooperative federalism,” Naidu said in an apparent reference to the role of the Vice President as Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, which is the ‘council of states’.

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Naidu said the country faces challenges posed by terrorism, climate change, globalisation and there were also opportunities provided by technology.

“It shall be my endeavour to facilitate proper conduct of Rajya Sabha so that all MPs can contribute their best to the making of a New India. I fully share the optimism of the 125 crore countrymen about their future and of the country,” Naidu said.

He assured the MPs that it would be his solemn responsibility to strengthen the hands of the President and referred to Ram Nath Kovind’s assertion on assuming office that “pluralism and unity in diversity are the pillars on which India’s nationhood rests”.

Naidu said the Parliament and successive governments since Independence have made strides in different spheres but a lot needs to be done.

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