Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu disapproves of competitive populism

Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu speaking at The Huddle in Bengaluru.   | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

Competitive populism among political parties and offers of loan waivers and free power in the run-up to elections are just temporary solutions that do not address the need for structural changes to sustainably develop incomes in the country, said Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday.

Delivering the Chief Guest address during The Huddle, a thought conclave organised by The Hindu, in Bengaluru, Mr. Naidu said: “Promises of free power mean that first we’ll get low power and then no power...Loan waivers (similarly) are temporary solutions. Farmers need credit every season. What we need are structural changes.” Populist measures may have short-term political gains, but lead to long-term economic problems as they are “unproductive,” he said.


Mr. Naidu termed them “competitive populism” that is fraught with “tall and impractical” programmes. “We’re supposed to be a mature democracy. But people get away with these promises and handing out lollipops to voters. Parties will have to justify and explain to the people on how they would find finances to fund such schemes. This is an important will make them accountable to voters,” he said.

Mr. Naidu, who is also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, said the code of conduct for MPs and MLAs should ensure the end of repeated disruptions in Parliament and Assemblies. “It is unfortunate that disorder and disruptions have become the order of the day. It isn’t individual MPs and MLAs that disrupt proceedings out of their will, but parties. It is the high command which directs them to. This competitive opposition must go,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 9:08:08 PM |

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