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Service to people is real religion: Venkaiah Naidu

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said that service to people is the real religion.

He said that the essence of religion is to serve and that going to a temple and to serve the needy is equally important.

While visiting a temple gives 'punya', serving the people gives immense satisfaction, he said in his address at the 20th annual celebration of Swarna Bharat Trust founded by him, at Venkatachalam in his native district Nellore. Union Home Minister Amit Shah also attended the event.

Naidu said he invited central ministers and other leaders so that they can see the activities of the Trust and motivate others to take up similar works.

The Vice President said in spite of his being in various positions at various levels, he always attended Swarna Bharat Trust programmes.

He underlined the need to reduce the divide between rural and urban areas and called for focussing on agriculture and farmers. "Not only the government, people should also focus on agriculture. We all owe agriculture and farmers," he said.

Naidu described youth as the future of the country and said giving them skill training and helping them secure loans for self-employment and making them stand on their feet gives immense happiness.

Stating that women are 50 per cent of the population, he said more needs to be done for their empowerment. He also called for putting an end to atrocities on women and for ensuring equal share in property.

Naidu, who is also the Rajya Sabha Chairman, described passing of the Bill to repeal Article 370 as a historic moment in his life. "Repeal of Article 370 was my life ambition and mission. We always believe Kashmir is an integral part of India and there should be no question mark over it. Each inch of Kashmir belongs to India and all people are equal citizens. People's wish was not respected for so many years but under the leadership of Narendra Modiji and Amit Shahji, the Bill was passed," he said.

The Vice President recalled that though there was tension and there were also apprehensions that there will be violence, no such thing happened and the Bill was passed after detailed discussion.

He also revealed that a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi had come to his house and requested that the Bill be taken up first in Rajya Sabha. "The entire night, me and officials worked out the programme for the next day. My wife and children were worried about my health," he said.

Shah was all praise for Venkaiah Naidu for staying connected to his roots irrespective of the positions he held and always leading a disciplined life.

He said that it was during Naidu's tenure as BJP's President that the party went back to basics. He recalled that Naidu used to come to the party office at 9 a.m. every day, and described him as an ideal for him and thousands of party workers.

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