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Venkaiah Naidu is NDA vice-president nominee, to take on Opposition’s Gopalkrishna Gandhi

M Venkaiah Naidu has been chosen as NDA's candidate for the Vice-Presidential election. Meanwhile, the Congress-led opposition parties has already announced Gopalkrishna Gandhi as its candidate for vice presidential poll scheduled for August 5.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 17, 2017 9:24:18 pm
 M Venkaiah Naidu, vice-presidential elections, gopalkrishna gandhi, NDA, opposition Vice-Presidential elections: Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu (PTI Photo)

Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday was chosen as NDA’s candidate for the forthcoming Vice-Presidential election. “Venkaiah ji has a lot of experience, all NDA allies have welcomed this decision,” said BJP President Amit Shah while addressing a press conference in Delhi. The Union Minister will file his nomination on Tuesday, Shah added. The decision was taken in the BJP’s parliamentary board meeting, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior party leaders.

An alliance of 18 opposition parties, including the Congress, has already declared Gopalkrishna Gandhi as its candidate for vice-presidential poll scheduled for August 5. July 18 is the last date for filing of nominations.

At present, the 68-year old Naidu holds the portfolios of Information and Broadcasting and Housing and Urban Affairs. The electoral college for the August 5 election consists of 790 MPs of the two chambers of Parliament.

Reflecting on his nomination, PM Modi said Naidu is a fitting candidate for the Vice-President’s post. “I know M Venkaiah Naidu Garu for years. Have always admired his hardwork & tenacity. A fitting candidate for the office of Vice President,” he tweeted.

“The years of Parliamentary experience M Venkaiah Naidu Garu will help him discharge the important role of Rajya Sabha Chairperson,” Modi added.

One of the popular leaders from Andra Pradesh, Naidu was elected as an MLA to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly for two consecutive times (1978-83 and 1983-85). He also became the President of Andhra Pradesh State Unit of BJP from 1988 to 1993.

Subsequently, Naidu rose through the ranks as he became the General Secretary of All India BJP from 1993 to September 2000. In 1988, he was elected as the Member of Rajya Sabha from Karnataka. He was also BJP’s spokesperson from 1996 to 2000. In the Parliament, he was a member of committees that covered subjects such as home affairs, agriculture, finance, rural development, external affairs.

Under the Atal Bihar Vajpayee cabinet, Naidu was elected as the Union Cabinet Minister for Rural Development in 1999. Later, he became the National President of BJP in 2002. He was selected for a second term in 2004 but stepped down after BJP’s loss in the 2004 General Elections. He was re-elected to Rajya Sabha again from Karnataka in 2004 and 2010. In 2016, he was elected for the fourth term in Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan.

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