Chennai: Averring that he never aspired to become the Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu said he had only desired to work for the party; meeting and interacting with people, always. However, the party leadership willed otherwise and honoured him - a farmer's son, with the highest position which came as a surprise to him.
“I want to share a secret with you in the presence of Amit Shahji (Union Home Minister and BJP national chief). I never wanted to become Vice President. I wanted to meet the people, interact with them and work for the party,” Mr. Venkaiah said at the launch of his book: Listening, Learning, and Leading, a chronicle of his two years in office, by Mr. Shah here on Sunday.
He learnt a lot by going around and enjoyed it as travelling provided an opportunity to learn. So, keeping this in mind he had told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he intended to quit politics when he turned 70, and before that he would like to see Mr. Modi become the PM again. “I had even told my wife (about his retirement plans) that they would vacate New Delhi and return to Nellore and involve in social service. I had even fixed the date as January 12, 2020 which falls on Sankranti,” Mr. Venkaiah said as the huge gathering listened intently.
“But when my name was announced for Vice President, I was in tears. I was a son of a farmer and hail from a humble family. The party had gradually elevated me and made me everything except Prime Minister for which I know my capacity. If I become Vice President, then I can't return to the party… Maybe Amit Shahji has a role for me,” Mr. Venkaiah who is also Chairperson of Rajya Sabha, said.
But soon after his name was announced he resigned from party post and even his MP position and left with a heavy heart. The 1949 born had joined the BJP at a time when people sounded skeptical of the party coming to power at all. But in his heart, he knew that one day his BJP would come to power. And it come to power under A. B. Vajpayee and stormed to power twice under the leadership of Narendra Modi bhai, he said and added that his commitment, conviction and patience has rewarded him.