NEW DELHI: NDA vice-presidential candidate M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said he wanted to see Prime Minister Narendra Modi come back to power in 2019 and then join social service, but “destiny decided otherwise”.
Naidu, who has quit the BJP, suggested he was keen to strengthen Modi’s “great leadership” and rejected reports that he wished to continue as minister.
“The country has got a great leadership and we should strengthen the country through that leadership and move forward. That was my wish. There was no intention, as some people are saying, to continue as minister…,” he told reporters.
“I had already made up my mind. I told my colleagues also that I want to see Modi come back again in 2019 and then I will call it off and join social service… but destiny decided otherwise. I have agreed with whatever decision was taken finally after discussion,” Naidu added.
Having been “brought up” by the party after he lost his mother at a very young age, it was “very painful” to leave the organisation, he said, adding that he treated it like his mother.
That is why he turned emotional on Monday during the BJP parliamentary board meeting which finalised his candidature, Naidu said.
He said he enjoyed working among the people and in the party.
“The office of vice president has a different profile. It has different norms of functions… I hope I will be able to do justice,” Naidu said, terming his nomination an “honour” for which he thanked the party leadership.
He underlined the difference between the demands of the job of the vice president, which has “defined constitutional responsibilities”, and his public profile for the last four decades during which “intensive interaction with people” had been a way of life and also a passion.
Naidu said he had now withdrawn himself from the party. “I am now above party. I do not belong to a party.”