Whatever change people wanted, they brought it in peacefully: Venkaiah Naidu on LS elections

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Anand (Guj), June 7 (PTI) Whatever change the country's people wanted, they brought it in peacefully in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections and the results have a "message", former Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said.

The elections proved why India is considered to be a great democracy, the BJP veteran added.

Naidu was speaking as chief guest at the 43rd convocation of the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) at Anand in Gujarat.

"This election proved why India is called a great democracy. Billions of people voted peacefully. Whatever change they wanted to make, they brought it peacefully. They gave a message to all, from top to bottom. There is a message in the election. I hope people understand the message," said Naidu, without elaborating.

Notably, the ruling BJP failed to reach the majority mark in the Lok Sabha on its own though it emerged as the single largest party while the Opposition's INDIA bloc put up an impressive performance.

Naidu further said the top priority for political parties should be to work for the poor and downtrodden irrespective of victory or defeat in elections.

"Money should not play important role (in politics). We must see (to it that) we are selecting and electing good people. Remember four Cs - character, calibre, capacity and conduct. But nowadays, you will find some politicians and political parties replacing these four Cs with other Cs...cash, caste, community and criminality," he said in the address to the graduating students.

Political parties may gain in the short term using the second set of Cs, but "will not last for long and should not last for long", Naidu added.

Underlining that agriculture is the country's lifeline, Naidu appealed to IRMA students to come up with new ideas to increase farmers' income.

"Nearly 60 percent of the population is living in rural areas. They depend on agriculture and allied activities, like cattle breeding, fisheries, and dairy farming. We must come up with new ideas and innovations and make agriculture more profitable and sustainable," he said.

"You are all aware that the challenges being faced by rural India are multifaceted and complex. From continued agrarian distress to infrastructural challenges, from limited access to education and healthcare to unemployment. There are a host of adversities rural India is facing," the former vice president added.

He also expressed concern about excessive use of mobile phones and other electronic gadgets by children and possible adverse effects of Artificial Intelligence.

"Children are spending more time on electronic devices. We must see that they use these devices to the minimum possible extent. Otherwise they will get addicted. Technology is useful but to an extent. I am afraid, this so-called Artificial Intelligence which is coming, unless it is put to proper use, will create havoc in the lives of the people," he said. PTI PJT PD KRK

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