Venkaiah Naidu elected as Vice President, says now I am a non-party man

“I am very humbled. I am also thankful to the Prime Minister and all party leaders for their support," Venkaiah Naidu said after his emphatic victory.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Published:August 6, 2017 5:53 am
venkaiah naidu, vice president, new vice president, vice presidential elections, vice presidential election results, venkaiah naidu speech, venkaiah naidu swearing in, indian express news Venkaiah Naidu with his wife Usha and daughter Deepa Venkat after he was declared elected on Saturday evening. (Source: Express Photo/Renuka Puri)

SENIOR BJP leader and former Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu was on Saturday elected the 15th Vice-President of India. His election comes a day after the BJP became the single-largest party in the Rajya Sabha, over which he will now preside as its ex-officio chairperson. “I am very humbled. I am also thankful to the Prime Minister and all party leaders for their support. I will seek to utilise the vice-presidential institution to strengthen the hands of the president and secondly uphold the dignity of the Upper House,” Naidu said after his emphatic victory.

Naidu, 68, will be administered the oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind at a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan on August 11. Naidu replaces Hamid Ansari, who retires on August 10. Within seconds of the election results, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, wishing Naidu a “fruitful and motivating tenure” and saying he was confident Naidu would “serve the nation as a diligent and dedicated vice-president, committed to the goal of nation building”. Later, both Modi and BJP president Amit Shah visited Naidu at his residence to congratulate him.

Naidu won 516 of the total 771 votes polled, in the 786-member electoral college. Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the Opposition’s candidate, got 244 votes, while 11 votes were declared invalid. Two BJP members, Vijay Goel and Sanwarlal Jat, could not cast their votes due to illness while party MP Chedi Paswan had been barred by the Supreme Court from voting.

Naidu got 67 per cent of the total votes in an election that witnessed over 98 per cent polling. A source pointed out that the highest votes ever cast in a vice-presidential election before this was 759, when BJP veteran Shekhawat was elected as the 11th vice-president in 2002. Naidu is the second BJP leader to be vice-president after Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.

Ever since the BJP-led NDA government came to power with a clear majority in 2014, the Rajya Sabha has been dominated by the Opposition. On Friday, the BJP became the single largest party in the Upper House, overtaking the Congress’s 57 by one seat. Though the NDA is not likely to get a majority on its own in the Upper House in the current term of the Modi government, it is expected that the government will have a smoother run.

A BJP leader said that since Naidu is from Andhra Pradesh, his term as Rajya Sabha chairman is expected to help the BJP get the backing of southern parties such as the AIADMK, TRS and YSR Congress during debates and passage of legislation in the Upper House.

It remains to be seen how Naidu, who is known for his puns and one-liners, settles into his new role as Rajya Sabha chairman. On the eve of the vice-presidential election, while launching ‘Tireless Voice Relentless Journey: Key Speeches of M Venkaiah Naidu’, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in a lighter vein that in his new role as Rajya Sabha chairman, it would be a “challenge for him to speak less and let others speak”.

BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Prabhat said he was confident that Naidu would be a “fair chairperson”. “When he sits on the chair, he will be a just and fair person,” Jha told The Sunday Express. The Opposition is watching, said a senior Congress leader. “We will see how Naidu conducts the House. If he takes everyone along, we will cooperate, otherwise the government will face a tough Opposition,” he said.

On Saturday, before the results came out, Naidu assured that he would be bipartisan. “There is no my party or your party. Now I am a non-party man. A majority of political parties in India have supported my candidature,” he said.

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  1. R
    Ram Kishan Reddy
    Aug 6, 2017 at 5:43 pm
    Congrats
    Reply
    1. D
      Dev Gupta
      Aug 6, 2017 at 3:38 pm
      “We will see how Naidu conducts the House. If he takes everyone along, we will cooperate, otherwise the government will face a tough Opposition,” Lmao What else have you been doing all along?
      Reply
      1. D
        Deepak Singh Rawat
        Aug 6, 2017 at 2:21 pm
        Sir I have done my diploma in civil engineering,
        Reply
        1. P
          prakash
          Aug 6, 2017 at 2:13 pm
          Today to mourn for death of démocracy n rise of casteism.. India Will mourn thé rise of naidu à castiest vice président...
          Reply
          1. D
            Dev Gupta
            Aug 6, 2017 at 3:38 pm
            Which India are you living in?
            Reply
            1. L
              Lovely
              Aug 6, 2017 at 7:32 pm
              Are you from JNU doing MPhil and weeping for last 10 yrs for not completing MPhil. Just weep
              Reply
            2. N
              Naidu
              Aug 6, 2017 at 2:12 pm
              All BJP leaders are "I" specialists. " "I" am a non-party man". You dont have to say it. The people will decide boss !! If you wish to continue in respect, serve the people. Time will tell whether you are a non-party man or party man.
              Reply
              1. L
                Lovely
                Aug 6, 2017 at 7:30 pm
                Ok next time you can have your Lallu as Vice President.
                Reply
              2. J
                jk
                Aug 6, 2017 at 1:39 pm
                pls stop JUMLABAAZI instead start acts like a Vp..
                Reply
                1. L
                  Lovely
                  Aug 6, 2017 at 12:37 pm
                  He is hard core nationalist who never compromised his party and ideology. RSS was his soul and BJP was his blood. He never changed party for greed and power. He fought Congress tooth and nail but he always conveyed message politely with out hurting. He was like homeopathy doctor. Good luck to him
                  Reply
                  1. A
                    A.Rama krishKrishna murthy
                    Aug 6, 2017 at 12:29 pm
                    Jaitley remarks about new elected VP OF INDIA is true that Non flow of speech of v.naidu is irreparable and once upon he was known as Assembly Tiger in SO state assembly while he was elected as MLA. IT IS true that he has a capacity of convincing any person with his magical speech.as jaitley quoted relentless hard work with less talk in upper house is a challenge assignment to our new beloved Vice president V.naidu.
                    Reply
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