VP urges political parties to agree on common agenda

Bengaluru: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday urged all political parties to agree on a common agenda on vital issues relating to the nations progress and security, and suggested them to evolve a code of conduct for effective functioning of Parliament and legislatures.

For that to happen, every politician should rise above narrow, short-term rhetorics, Naidu said speaking on “India: Our Opportunities and Challenges” at “The Huddle 2019”, organised here by The Hindu newspaper.

“Opportunities are beckoning us and we need to seize the moment. There are challenges that are impeding our progress. I feel all the political parties, irrespective of who is in power, should agree on a common agenda when it comes to vital issues relating to the nation’s progress and security,” he said.

Referring to the challenges impeding progress, Naidu 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 the deserving section.”

In the backdrop of forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, Naidu also urged people to elect leaders who have 4Cs — character, calibre, capacity and conduct — and cautioned against attempts to encourage cash, caste, community and criminality during the polls.

He also suggested to political parties, business bodies and media associations to “evolve codes of conduct for effective functioning of the Parliament and legislatures, conducting ethical business and ensuring professional integrity of journalists”.

Expressing his anguish over the deterioration in the functioning of Parliament and legislatures, he said it is 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, 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.”

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

Expressing his concern over “mindless sensationalism and paid news”, he asked media professionals themselves to address the issue.

He said the media must pass on unpolluted and undiluted news without mixing views.

He said India is the fastest growing economy and poised to become the third leading major economy in the next 10-15 years.

Stating that inclusive economic growth should be central to our development, the Vice President said that making people living in rural areas an integral part of the developmental process should be the aim of the policymakers and planners.