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Venkaiah Naidu is de facto Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Ananth Kumar keeps low profile

Naidu has pipped his colleagues in not only praising the PM but also strongly defending him and his policies in both the Houses.

Updated: Dec 02, 2016, 12.31 AM IST
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Naidu looms large and slams the Opposition without any restrain. When the government has to reach out to the Opposition, Naidu reportedly takes the initiative individually and, at times, even informs his colleagues after making the move.
Naidu looms large and slams the Opposition without any restrain. When the government has to reach out to the Opposition, Naidu reportedly takes the initiative individually and, at times, even informs his colleagues after making the move.
NEW DELHI: Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu may no longer be holding the Parliamentary Affairs portfolio but his aggressive cornering of the Opposition has led many to refer to him as the de facto in charge of the ministry, virtually pushing his successor Ananth Kumar into the shadows.

Naidu was replaced by Kumar as the Parliamentary Affairs Minister in the last Cabinet reshuffle on July 5, 2016, reportedly as he was too aggressive in defending the government and taking on the Opposition.

However, he continues to be in the forefront in countering the Opposition attacks, throwing tit-for-tat barbs, and even attending various meetings with the Opposition parties. Party insiders told ETthat Naidu and Kumar differ in their style of functioning. Kumar is keen on keeping a low profile and getting the job done by bringing all on board. He also keeps the senior-most party leaders in the loop and puts them in the forefront while confabulating with the Opposition.

Naidu, on the other hand, looms large and slams the Opposition without any restrain. When the government has to reach out to the Opposition, Naidu reportedly takes the initiative individually and, at times, even informs his colleagues after making the move.

In this winter session, Naidu is seen as the most vocal among all of PM Modi’s ministers. He has spoken in both the Houses as well as outside every day. On many occasions, Naidu bats on behalf of the government during a disruption by the Opposition in the House though Kumar is present.

Naidu has pipped his colleagues in not only praising the PM but also strongly defending him and his policies in both the Houses.

Naidu has also continued to meet journalists and brief them on more occasions than Kumar. The Parliamentary Affairs Minister held his first press conference in this session on Tuesday to counter the Opposition while Naidu has given bytes on a daily basis. In one such interaction on Thursday, Naidu said:

“As a former Parliamentary Affairs Minister, I am confident all the 22 Bills listed for this session will be passed.” Naidu can be seen frequenting the PMO in Parliament House to apprise him of the developments. Kumar has confined himself to holding meetings with his deputies SS Ahluwalia and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi as well as other party colleagues, reaching out to the Opposition leaders individually.
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