As far as promises go, this one could be hard to keep.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured NDA vice-presidential candidate M Venkaiah Naidu that the treasury benches would not allow his blood pressure to rise in the Rajya Sabha.
“It’s our assurance that we will not allow your BP to shoot up in the Rajya Sabha. We will continue to give as much support as we can,” sources quoted the PM as saying.
Modi was addressing a BJP meeting called on Tuesday to felicitate Naidu on being picked as the V-P candidate.
The 68-year-old BJP veteran, whose victory in August 5 election is a forgone conclusion, will need all the support he can get.
As the vice-president, the former union minister will also be the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, where the ruling NDA is in a minority. The ruling side and the Opposition have clashed bitterly in the Upper House, leading to disruptions.
The Opposition has delayed passage of bills or sent them to parliamentary panels for reviews, slowing down the process of law-making.
Though there was no data available but he was confident that Naidu would be the first vice-president to have spent so many years in the Rajya Sabha, Modi said.
Modi said the party and the cabinet always consulted Naidu on agricultural issues. “When policy is finalised, Naidu’s touch is there,” the PM was quoted as saying by sources.
Naidu will go up against Congress-led Opposition pick Gopalkrishna Gandhi in a one-sided contest. The vice-president is picked by the members of Parliament. Out of a total of 790 MPs, the NDA has 410.