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Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today took over as the Rajya Sabha Chairman and conducted its proceedings, saying the House should debate, discuss and decide on issues but disruptions should be avoided. Naidu said that he did not approve of legislations being passed in the din and emphasised that it can happen when there are no disruptions, in an apparent response to several opposition members urging him to continue the practice of not allowing any bill to be passed amid pandemonium. Earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had also said that since 2014, bills were not being passed in the din and had urged that the government's legislative business should be allowed be taken up smoothly. Naidu said that members belonging to various parties were political rivals but not enemies. "We have to keep this in mind and work together," he said, adding that all members should work to strengthen the country in line with their views and ideologies. He expressed gratitude that confidence has been reposed on "a humble agriculturist" for such an important duty. Known for his witty one-liners, Naidu said "after all, the culture of India is agriculture." Recalling his origins, he said he belonged to a humble background and did not have the support of any "dynasty". He said he had lost his parents early in life "so much so that he cannot even recall the face of his mother," he said in a voice trembling with emotion. "I am humbled by the honour", he told members and said the play of numbers was now a thing of the past for him. "Now I am an all-party man, above party politics," Naidu said.
Referring to Congress leader Anand Sharma, who had expressed expectations in this regard, he said they would be met with. He emphasised that in the Rajya Sabha, everyone should have the opportunity to have a say on important issues, whether their party had a small number or big.
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