“Shri M Venkaiah Naidu Garu's wisdom and passion for the country's progress is widely admired”
“These 75 years have been extraordinary and it encompasses magnificent stopovers”
“Life of Venkaiah Naidu ji is a perfect glimpse of the amalgamation of ideas, vision and personality”
“No one can match the level of Naidu Ji’s wit, spontaneity, quick counters and one-liners”
“Naidu ji wanted to serve the villages, the poor and the farmers”
“Journey of Venkaiah Ji’s life is a source of inspiration for the younger generations”

Namaskar!

Present in the programme today are our esteemed senior colleague and the focal point of this event Shri Venkaiah Naidu Garu, along with his family members, Governors from various states, Ministers, and other distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen!

Tomorrow, July 1st, marks Mr. Venkaiah Naidu's birthday, a celebration of completion of 75 years of a remarkable life journey filled with extraordinary achievements and significant milestones. I am delighted to have the opportunity today to launch his biography along with two additional books. These publications are poised to inspire and guide people towards national service.

Friends,

I have had the privilege of working closely with Venkaiah ji over an extended period – during his tenure as the National President of the party, as a senior cabinet colleague in the government, and later as the Vice President of the country and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. Reflecting on this extensive journey from humble beginnings in a farming family in a simple village to shouldering immense responsibilities, one can only appreciate the wealth of experiences he possesses. Venkaiah ji has been a mentor not only to me but also to thousands of workers like us, imparting invaluable lessons along the way.

Friends,

Venkaiah ji's life offers a profound glimpse into his thoughts, vision, and personality. Today, we hold a strong position in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. However, decades ago, neither the Jana Sangh nor the Bharatiya Janata Party had a significant presence there. Despite this, during his days as an ABVP worker, Naidu ji committed himself to serving the nation with a spirit of putting the country first. He later joined the Jana Sangh. Just a few days ago marked the 50th anniversary of the Emergency imposed by the Congress, which tarnished the sanctity of the Constitution. Venkaiah ji was among those who vehemently opposed the Emergency, enduring a 17-month imprisonment during that tumultuous period. This is why I consider him a true friend, forged in the crucible of that challenging time.

Friends,

Power shouldn't be seen as a path to happiness but a means for service and the fulfillment of commitments. Venkaiah ji exemplified this principle when he had the opportunity to join Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji's government. His stature in our party was significant. And naturally, when it came to choosing a ministry, one would desire a Ministry that held global acclaim. However, Venkaiah ji requested to be entrusted with the Rural Development Ministry. This decision underscored his commitment to serving villages, the underprivileged, and farmers. Notably, during Atal ji's tenure, he was one of the crucial ministers focusing on rural development. Later, as a senior cabinet colleague, he also served as the Urban Development Minister, demonstrating his versatility across different domains. His initiatives, dedication, and visionary approach towards shaping modern Indian cities, including initiatives like the Swachh Bharat Mission, Smart City Mission, and Amrit Yojana, speak volumes about his impactful leadership.

Friends,

To discuss Venkaiah ji without mentioning his words, eloquence, and wit would leave our discussion incomplete. Venkaiah ji's sharpness, spontaneity, and ability for quick-witted comebacks are unparalleled. I recall during Vajpayee ji's coalition government, Venkaiah ji famously declared, " BJP Ka Jhanda Aur NDA Ka Agenda" (BJP's flag in one hand and NDA's agenda in the other). After the formation of the government in 2014, he coined the phrase "Making of Developed India," cleverly abbreviated as MODI. I was personally amazed by Venkaiah ji's depth of thought on these occasions. This is why I once remarked in the Rajya Sabha, in a style befitting Venkaiah ji himself, that his words carry both depth and seriousness. They encompass vision and wit, warmth and wisdom.

Friends,

With your distinctive style, you imbued the House with positivity throughout your tenure as Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. The entire country witnessed numerous historic decisions made during this time. For instance, the bill to revoke Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir was first introduced in the Rajya Sabha, despite lacking a majority at the time. Yet, with dignity and pride, the bill was successfully passed thanks to the contributions of many friends, parties, and MPs. At such a sensitive juncture, experienced leadership like Venkaiah ji's was crucial for the smooth functioning of the House. Your contributions to our country and democracy are countless.

Venkaiah Garu, I pray that God keeps you healthy and active, guiding us for years to come. Few may know that Venkaiah ji is a deeply emotional person. During our work in Gujarat, he was particularly affected by certain incidents. His resolute nature has contributed to the growth of the Bharatiya Janata Party, resembling a vast banyan tree under which countless workers, like Venkaiah Garu, have dedicated themselves across generations with the sole pledge of 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai'. That's how this huge Banyan tree has grown over the years. Venkaiah ji was known for his witty rhymes, yet he equally enjoys hosting people. Every Makar Sankranti, his residence in Delhi resonates with the festive spirit of Telugu traditions, and broader South Indian celebrations. If ever this tradition skips a year, everyone notices Venkaiah ji's absence. His simplicity in celebrating Makar Sankranti resonates deeply with us.

Even today, he rarely forgets to call upon hearing good news or witnessing joyous events, expressing his happiness with heartfelt emotion. Such gestures inspire and excite people like us immensely. Venkaiah ji's life serves as a profound inspiration for future generations and for youth aspiring to engage in public life, offering invaluable guidance. These three books vividly capture his journey, allowing us to immerse ourselves in his experiences and draw inspiration from his remarkable journey.

Friends,

You may recall that I once spoke a few words about Shriman Venkaiah Garu in the Rajya Sabha. I wish to reiterate those sentiments today - "Amal Karo Aisa Aman Mein, Jahan Se Guzre Tumhari Nazarein, Udhar Se Tumhe Salaam Aaye, Apka Vyaktitva Aisa Hi Hai" (Reach such heights that wherever your gaze falls, you receive salutes; such is your persona). Once again, congratulations on your 75-year journey. I recall an instance involving a friend whose 75th birthday coincided with yours. When I called him and asked about his age, instead of saying he had completed 75 years, he replied optimistically, "I still have 25 years ahead." This perspective is remarkable. Today, I also want to highlight that your 75-year journey has reached a milestone. Looking ahead, as you approach your 100th year, in 2047, a developed India (Viksit Bharat) will celebrate its centenary of independence. Many heartfelt wishes on your birthday! Congratulations once more. Your family members have been integral to your success, standing beside you and serving diligently without seeking personal accolades. I extend my congratulations and best wishes to all your family members!

Thank you very much!

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