Former vice president M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said the voters gave a “message to all” in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections, hoping that “people understand the message”.

Former vice-president of India and veteran BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu. (File Photo)

“This election proved why India is called a great democracy. Billions of people voted peacefully. Whatever change they wanted to make, they brought it peacefully,” the BJP veteran said at the 43rd convocation of the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) at Anand in Gujarat.

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“They gave a message to all, from top to bottom. There is a message in the election. I hope people understand the message,” he added, without elaborating.

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For the first time since 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party failed to reach the halfway mark in the Lok Sabha elections and is now dependent on its allies to form the government.

The BJP won 240 Lok Sabha seats while its National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners won 53 more, taking them to a comfortable majority. However, the BJP is likely to be on its toes as it will depend heavily on Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and N Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP to run a stable government. Chandrababu Naidu is known as a shrewd politician and a hard bargainer and Nitish Kumar has a reputation of frequently changing his allegiance to and from the BJP to suit his interests.

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Venkaiah Naidu said the top priority for political parties should be to work for the poor and downtrodden irrespective of victory or defeat in elections.

“Money should not play important role (in politics). We must see (to it that) we are selecting and electing good people. Remember four Cs – character, calibre, capacity and conduct. But nowadays, you will find some politicians and political parties replacing these four Cs with other Cs…cash, caste, community and criminality,” he said in the address to the graduating students.

Political parties may gain in the short term using the second set of Cs, but “will not last for long and should not last for long”, Naidu added.

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