NDA nominee and former union minister M Venkaiah Naidu has been appointed as the 13th Vice-President of India after he defeated Opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi registering a comfortable win. Reaching this position has not been easy for the BJP veteran. From very humble beginnings in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district to becoming the Vice-President elect of the largest democracy in the world, Naidu has come a long way.
Naidu began his political stint in the seventies by pasting party posters as a young boy and later rose to success by becoming one of the most prominent leaders of the Bharatiya Janta Party. Not only has Naidu served as the BJP President, he has also been a long-serving Rajya Sabha member and has also held various portfolios as a minister in the Parliament.
As a young boy with dreams of making it big in politics one day, Naidu assisted the BJP, which was a young party back then by pasting posters of party bigwigs which include the likes of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani. It was a time when BJP’s precursor Jana Sangh was a marginal player and had little clout in the southern part of the country.
A two-term member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, Naidu has always been known for his commendable orating skills. Naidu has had the privilege of being elected to the Rajya Sabha three times from Karnataka. He has also represented Rajasthan in the Upper House before being nominated for the prestigious post of Vice-President by the NDA.
The Advani protege played an integral role in backing Narendra Modi for the Prime Minister’s post before the 2014 elections. Naidu held the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Urban Affairs in the Modi Cabinet and has also served as the minister of parliamentary affairs. When the nation faced emergency during Indra Gandhi’s regime, Naidu worked as an ABVP activist and was even put behind bars.
Naidu served as the Rural Development Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee lead NDA government and also served as the BJP national president from July 2002 to October 2004 for two consecutive terms. He later quit the post after the NDA’s defeat in the Lok Sabha election of 2004.
As the Parliamentary Affairs minister in the Modi cabinet, Naidu was always there whenever his party needed him the most. He was the one who met congress chief Sonia Gandhi when there was a standoff between the government and the opposition in Parliament. Under his leadership, the parliament cleared several major legislations including the GST Bill and the Real Estate Act.
Naidu was also steadfast in presenting issues in perspective with effective repartee whenever the need be. He also launched various urban missions including the Smart City Project, Atal Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission and Housing for All during his tenure as the Minister of Urban Development and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation. As Rural Development Minister, Naidu was launched the popular ‘Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana’.
With PTI inputs