Vice President asks political parties to agree on common agenda

February 10, 2019

Competitive populism is not good for the country;
Evolve codes of conduct, VP tells political parties, business bodies and media associations;
Every section must strengthen democracy with a positive mindset;
Addresses the ‘The Huddle 2019’ event

The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has urged all political parties to agree on a common agenda on vital issues relating to the nation’s progress and security. For that to happen, every politician should rise above narrow and short-term rhetoric, he said.

Speaking on the topic, “India: Our Opportunities and Challenges” at ‘The Huddle 2019’ organized by The Hindu, in Bengaluru today, he said India is the fastest growing economy and poised to become the third leading major economy in the next 10-15 years.

He said opportunities were beckoning us and “we need to seize the moment”. Referring to challenges that were impeding progress, he called upon all political parties to adopt politics of consensus on promoting inclusive growth; ending agrarian distress and making agriculture profitable; eradicating poverty and illiteracy; empowering the deprived and weaker sections; ending gender and caste discrimination, fighting the menace of corruption, bridging urban-rural divide and protecting the unity and integrity of India. Unless these challenges are tackled on a war footing in a mission mode, the fruits of development will not reach every deserving section, he added.

Saying that inclusive economic growth should be central to our development, Shri Naidu said that making people living in rural areas an integral part in the developmental process should be the aim of the policy makers and planners.

Shri Naidu also suggested to political parties, business bodies and media associations to evolve codes of conduct for effective functioning of Parliament and Legislatures, conducting ethical business and ensuring professional integrity of journalists.

Expressing his anguish over the decay in the functioning of Parliament and Legislatures, he said it was unfortunate that disruptions and disorder have become the order of the day. Appealing to political parties not to resort to populist and impractical promises to win elections, Shri Naidu said that parties which make tall and impractical promises should explain to people as to how they would find finances for their schemes. Competitive populism is not good for the country, he added.

Observing that business and ethics must go hand-in-hand, he urged the industry to weed out black sheep that bring a bad name to the business community.

The Vice President said that all countries should voluntarily agree to extradite economic offenders and exchange information. He said the world was facing two major challenges— terrorism and corruption - and wanted the UN and global community to act at the earliest to eradicate the twin menaces.

Expressing his concern over “mindless sensationalism and paid news”, he asked media professionals themselves to address the issue. He said media must pass on unpolluted and undiluted news without mixing views.

Referring to the clearly demarcated powers and functions of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, he said the delicate balance between all the three wings should be maintained at all times and nobody should encroach into the domain of others.

Pointing out that India was having demographic advantage as 65 per cent of population was below 35 years, Shri Naidu urged the private sector to play a big role in ‘Skill India’ programme by funding skilling initiatives as part of their CSR activities. India has no other alternative but to develop a highly skilled and semi-skilled human resource to be globally competitive, he added.

The Vice President opined that promoting investments in modernizing agriculture, mainstreaming of rural livelihoods and creating market avenues for rural population would help in ensuring equitable development.

The Vice President also wanted every section of the society to strengthen the foundations of democracy with a positive mindset and not to promote negativism.

Shri Naidu also urged people to elect leaders who have 4 Cs - Character, Caliber, Capacity and Conduct and cautioned against attempts to encourage cash, caste, community and criminality.

Shri N. Ravi, Publisher, The Hindu Group of Newspapers, Shri Mukund Padmanabhan, Editor of The Hindu and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

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