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It's Gopal Krishna Gandhi Vs Venkaiah Naidu in Vice Presidential Polls

18 July, 2017, 05:13 | Author: Nadine Todd
  • NDA presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind being welcomed at Garware club in Mumbai on Saturday

Union information and broadcasting (I&B) minister, M. Venkaiah Naidu who wanted to be the president of India and even lobbied for it with the RSS, was selected on Monday evening by his party leadership as the NDA candidate for office of vice-president. After the BJP Parliamentary board meeting, party president Amit Shah officially announced on Monday.

A four-term Rajya Sabha member, Naidu is now the minister of urban development, housing and urban poverty alleviation and information and broadcasting. The last date for filing nomination papers for the vice-presidential election is July 18.

According to informed party sources, Naidu's name has nearly been finalised as candidate for the Vice President's post.

The Congress had been looking to score a victory in at least the vice-presidential election and hence fielded a candidate whose Gandhi surname they could use to stir old feelings of loyalty in its voter base.

It was Naidu again who reached out to Gandhi on the presidential election and home minister Rajnath Singh let him do the talking with the Congress chief when they visited her to know the Opposition view on the candidate.

If elected Vice President, Naidu will also be the ex officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha where the BJP still lacks a majority. "I am happy being Usha's (his wife) pati". Naidu is among the party's prominent faces from southern India, where he is still struggling to find a foothold. Today's meetings are important since the BJP-led NDA lacks numbers in the Rajya Sabha and it needs to pick a consensus candidate acceptable across party lines. Though K Jana Krishnamurthi and Bangaru Laxman both rose to be presidents of the BJP from the South, neither had the same reach and influence that Venkaiah has.

However, most senior BJP leaders and ministers were tight-lipped about who is PM Modi's choice for the post. The polls are expected to be held on August 5th and BJP is said to sail safe joining hands with all the leading regional parties.

Born July 1, 1949, Naidu came joined politics in his college days only.

All members of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, including nominated members, form the electoral college for electing the Vice President.

Meanwhile, tThe election to choose Indias 14th President saw nearly 100 per cent voting on Monday with Lok Sabha Secretary and Returning Officer Anoop Mishra terming it "probably the highest turnout ever".

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