Narendra Modi. Photograph:( Reuters )
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sunday calling for discipline these days is branded "autocratic", as he praised Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu for being a "disciplinarian".
After launching a book on experiences of Naidu during his first year as vice president of India and chairman of Rajya Sabha, Modi said he always provides visionary leadership whenever he gets a responsibility.
"Venkaiah ji is a disciplinarian, but our country's situation is such that it has become easy to call discipline undemocratic. If some one calls for discipline, he is branded autocratic...The whole dictionary is opened. But the discipline Venkaiah ji calls for he himself follows it," he said.
The prime minister said whichever duty Naidu had, he performed it with utmost diligence and adapted into that role with ease.
"He has been in public life for 50 years. Ten years in student politics and 40 years in state as well as national politics," he said.
The 245-page book titled "Moving on, Moving forward: A Year in Office" brings out Naidu's "mission of engagement" on four key issues with various stakeholders across the country and its alignment with the mission of a new India in the making.
Naidu says in the book his mission of exploring and shaping public discourse over four key issues took him on extensive travels across the country since he was sworn in as vice president on August 11 last year.
Modi said former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee wanted to give Naidu a ministry in his government, but he said he wanted to be the minister of rural development.
"Venkaiah ji is a farmer at heart. He is passionate about the welfare of farmers and agriculture.
"The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana came into being due to the efforts of Naidu Ji. In a time when political discourse was centred around train stoppages only, he ensured that leaders began to think more about roads and other forms of connectivity," Modi also said.
At the book launch event, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, former prime ministers Manmohan Singh, HD Deve Gowda, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and senior Congress leader Anand Sharma were present on the dais.