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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Vice-Presidential Election highlights: Promise to uphold high standards set by my predecessors, says Venkaiah Naidu

Vice-Presidential Election highlights: Venkaiah Naidu has been elected India's 13th Vice-President after securing 516 votes in the election. His contender, former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, managed to win only 244 votes.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 5, 2017 9:28:19 pm
Venkaiah Naidu, Vice Presidential elections, Vice presidential election results, Venkaiah Naidu, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Vice Presidential election, Vice Presidential election live updates, Congress, BJP NDA candidate for Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, sharing a light moment with other MPs as he arrives to cast his vote in the Vice Presidential Election, in New Delhi on Saturday. (PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist)

Venkaiah Naidu has been elected India’s 13th Vice-President after securing 516 votes in the election. His contender, former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, who is also the candidate put forward by a joint Opposition front, managed to win only 244 votes. The voting began at 10 am Saturday and ended at 5 pm this evening. 771 MPs cast their votes; 98.21 polling percentage was recorded. On winning the election, Naidu expressed gratitude to all the MPs who voted for him. “I promise to uphold the Constitution and the high standards set by my esteemed predecessors,” he tweeted. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to congratulate Naidu and expressed confidence that he will serve the nation with diligence and dedication.

Meanwhile, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, speaking to the media after the results were declared, thanked all the Opposition MPs who voted for him and wished Naidu all the best for the new office.


9:20 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweets after meeting Naidu in New Delhi.

8:50 pm: Watch PM Modi felicitate Naidu at the latter’s residence in New Delhi.

8:18 pm: PM Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah call on Naidu at his residence in New Delhi, felicitate him after winning the election. Read how political leaders reacted here.

8:08 pm: Former President Pranab Mukherjee tweets congratulating Naidu. “Many congratulations Venkaiah Naidu on your election as India’s Vice President. Goodluck & Godbless.”

Meanwhile, Union Minister Rajnath Singh says, “Congratulations to Venkaiah Naidu on his election as the Vice President of India. I wish him success in his future endeavours.”

8:06 pm: Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das congratulates Naidu for his win. In a statement, he says the nation will get the benefit of his long experience.

8:00 pm: Watch: Venkaiah Naidu and his wife Usha at their residence in New Delhi.

7:52 pm: Congress President Sonia Gandhi congratulates Venkaiah Naidu on his election as Vice-President.

7:45 pm: Taking to Twitter, Venkaiah Naidu says he promises to uphold the Constitution and the high standards set by his predecessors.

7:42 pm: Naidu’s win is being celebrated at his native village Chavatapalem in Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh.

7:41 pm: BJP president Amit Shah tweets, “Heartiest congratulations to Shri @MVenkaiahNaidu ji on winning the Vice-Presidential poll. The journey of Naidu ji, a farmer’s son, to the office of Vice President is the victory of every small farmer contributing to nations growth. I am sure Naidu ji’s extensive knowledge and vast experience will be a great asset to the office of Vice-President & Rajya Sabha.”

7.40 pm: Here’s a quick breakdown of the numbers: Out of the 771 votes cast in today’s election, Naidu received 516 votes while Gandhi secured 244. 11 votes were found invalid.

Compare these numbers with Hamid Ansari, who has held the position of Vice-President for two consecutive terms. Back in 2007, incumbent Hamid Ansari had bagged 456 votes while Najma Heptullah had won 222 votes and Rashid Masood 75. In 2012, Ansari won 490 votes, beating NDA nominee Jaswant Singh, who got 238 votes.

7:33 pm: Gopalkrishna Gandhi says, “The election saw two victories — one of Naidu, another of free speech; the second victory belongs to all the people of India.

7:30 pm: Union Minister Smriti Irani tweets, “Congratulations to Vice-President Elect @MVenkaiahNaidu ji. We are confident his leadership would further enrich the Office of VP.”

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik also takes to Twitter to congratulate Naidu. He says, “Congratulations to @MVenkaiahNaidu ji on being elected Vice President of India. My best wishes for success in your new responsibilities.”

Manoj Sinha also tweets.

7:26 pm: Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu congratulates Venkaiah Naidu on being elected India’s next Vice President, reports ANI. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee as well congratulates Naidu. She says, “Naidu Ji, our next VP; wish him well. GK Gandhi Ji fought with dignity for certain ideals.”

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath tweets, “Heartiest Congratulations and best wishes to Honourable Shri Venkaiah Naidu on being appointed the Vice President of India.”

7:25 pm: Venkaiah Naidu, reacting to his win, says, “I am very humbled. I am also thankful to the Prime Minister and all party leaders for their support,” reports PTI. “I’ll seek to utilise the Vice-Presidential institution to strengthen hands of President and uphold dignity of the Upper House,” he adds.

7:20 pm: TMC’s Derek O’Brien tweets, “India has a new Vice President. The Rajya Sabha a new Chairman (from Aug 11). Warmest good wishes @MVenkaiahNaidu Ji.”

7:17 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweets, “I am confident @MVenkaiahNaidu will serve the nation as a diligent & dedicated Vice President, committed to the the goal of nation building.” Read more here.

7:15 pm: Speaking to the media, Gandhi thanks all the opposition party MPs who voted for him. He wishes Naidu all the best for the new office. “I thank those who voted for me. I was expecting a handsome performance by the united vote of Opposition parties and I’m more than satisfied,” he is quoted as saying by ANI.

7.05 pm: After securing 516 votes in the election, Venkaiah Naidu has beaten Gopalkrishna Gandhi, and is elected India’s next Vice-President. Opposition candidate Gandhi secured 244 votes.

7:00 pm: Here’s a quick update of what’s happening: 771 cast their vote in the election for India’s next Vice-President today. Polling percentage was recorded at 98.21 per cent. Counting of votes is underway and the results will be announced shortly. Either Venkaiah Naidu or Gopalkrishna Gandhi will succeed Vice-President Hamid Ansari whose term ends on August 10. Ansari held the post for two consecutive terms.

6:40 pm: With voting underway, here’s a profile of Opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. To know about the Opposition’s presidential candidate, click here.

To know more about Venkaiah Naidu, click here.

6:20 pm: Yesterday, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien had said Venkaiah Naidu would win the election. During the parliamentary proceedings, he had said, “He (Venkaiah) is going to be my Chairman.” The Vice President of India is also the Chairman of the Upper House.

6:00 pm: Counting of votes begins. Results likely to be out after 7.00 pm.

5:55 pm: Here’s a quick tally of the missing votes. There were 785 MPs eligible to vote, but only 771 cast their votes. 14 were absent,  including Sanwarlal Jat and Vijay Goel from the BJP who are hospitalised and Mausam Noor and Ranee Narah from Congress. From the Trinamool Congress, Kunal Ghosh, Tapas Paul, Pratima Mondal and Abhishek Banerjee did not vote, while Udayan Raje Bhonsle from the NCP was absent too. Dr Anbumani Ramadoss from Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), PK Kunhalikutty and Abdul Wahab from IUML and two Independents, Anu Agha and Naba Kumar Saraniya missed the voting as well.

5:45 pm: Two BJP leaders, Sanwarlal Jat and Vijay Goel, could not vote in the election held today as they are hospitalised, reports PTI.

5.35 pm: Sachin Tendulkar who made a surprise appearance in Parliament this week, cast his vote in the Vice-Presidential elections today. Actor Rekha, who has also been criticised for her low attendance in the Rajya Sabha, cast her vote. Three nominated members, boxer Mary Kom and BJP leaders Roopa Ganguly and Subramanian Swamy voted as well. Click here to see pictures of the voting process.

5:30 pm: Two MPs from the Muslim League, PK Kunhalikutty and Abdul Wahab, were barred from voting in the election as they arrived at Parliament House 10 minutes after polls closed. Kunhalikutty told The Indian Express he left Kozhikode, Kerala, at 7.30 am by an Air India flight but was stuck in Mumbai airport for 5 hours.

5:25 pm: After casting her vote, MP and actress Hema Malini says everyone loves NDA’s candidate Venkaiah Naidu. Watch:

5:20 pm: Couting of votes will begin at 6 pm. 771 votes were cast, so that shouldn’t take long!

5:00 pm: Voting for the Vice-Presidential elections has come to an end. Counting will begin shortly, after which the results will be announced. A total of 771 out of 785 MPs cast their vote today. Polling percentage was 98.21 per cent.

4:55 pm: Opposition candidate and former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi today said the fight today is based on constitutional principles. “NDA’s candidate (Venkaiah Naidu) is an experienced person, there is only technically competition between us and nothing personal,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.

Rajya Sabha MP Sachin Tendulkar after casting his vote at the Parliament House. (Express Photo/Prem Nath Pandey)

4:50 pm: In an opinion piece in The Indian Express today, Chakshu Roy, head of outreach PRS Legislative Research, writes, “The biggest challenge for the new vice president will be to assume a non-partisan role while managing the functioning of the House. The new VP will need to have the confidence of MPs on both sides of the aisle. He will have to play the arbiter between political parties and set the benchmark for non-partisan conduct.” You can read the entire piece here.

4:40 pm: In case you’re wondering, there are 790 members in the electoral college comprising of elected and nominated MPs in the Lok Saba and Rajya Sabha. However, there are two vacancies in each house and one BJP Lok Sabha MP is barred from voting. Hence, there are 785 members eligible to vote in today’s election. So far, 761 have.

4:15 pm: Here’s a quick roundup if you’re just joining us. Polling for the Vice-Presidential elections began at 10 am this morning and will conclude at 5 pm. Till 3 pm, nearly 97 per cent voting or 761 of 785 members had voted. The results are likely to be announced by 7 pm. Members of both Houses of Parliament, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha are eligible to cast their votes. NDA candidate and former union minister Venkaiah Naidu is pitted against Opposition nominee Gopalkrishna Gandhi.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh casts his vote while I&B Minister Smriti Irani awaits her turn. (Express Photo/Premnath Pandey)

3:50 pm: So far, there has been 96.94 per cent polling in the elections, Assistant Returning Officer Mukul Pandey is quoted as saying by PTI.

3:30 pm: A picture of Gopalkrishna Gandhi with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other party leaders

(Express photo by Premnath Pandey)

3:10 pm: Update says 761 votes have now been cast in the VP election. Less than 2 hours to go before counting begins.

3 pm: So, over 90 per cent of the votes have been cast till now. Polling will go on till 5 pm.

1:45 pm: A total of 713 votes have been polled till now. The total number of MPs who are eligible to vote number 790.

1:15 pm: Everybody loves him (Naidu) a lot. He is most capable and he knows (the) entire Parliament…the whole politics, says BJP MP Hema Malini

1:10 pm: Actress and Rajya Sabha MP Rekha, who’s almost never seen in the House, turned up to vote in the VP election.

So did Sachin, by the way. Speaking to reporters after voting, he said, “Not only here but whenever voting takes place, every citizen should vote.”

12:30 pm: Read about the ‘dummy’ vote that was held Friday by the NDA before the election and how many MPs failed? Well, read the story here

12:10 pm: Pictures of Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh arriving to cast their votes

12 noon: How are the numbers stacked?

The NDA has 337 MPs in the Lok Sabha and 80 in the Rajya Sabha. Naidu is expected to get 484 of the total 790 votes — parties like AIADMK, YSRCP and TRS, which have extended their support, together account for 67 MPs.

Gopalkrishna Gandhi will get votes of MPs of Congress, NCP, Trinamool, SP, BSP, JD(U), RJD, DMK and other smaller parties which are aligned against the NDA.

11:10 am: Gopalkrishna Gandhi dismissed reports of the contest being ‘one-sided’, cites instance of Meira Kumar getting so many votes in the Presidential election.

11:00 am: Manohar Parrikar told reporters that he will miss him in one place although they will see more of Naidu in another place as the chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

Meanwhile, here’s a picture of PM Modi casting his vote.

10:45 am: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has also voted.

10:30 am: Special pens are being given to the MPs to write their choice on the ballot papers. NDA MPs have been asked not to bring their pens for the election.

10:15 am: Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh, MoS Home Kiren Rijiju, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have also cast their votes.

10:05 am: Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar has also cast his vote. Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who has not vacated his Rajya Sabha seat yet, also voted.

The voting will go on till 5 in the evening. The counting will then begin and the final result will come in by 6:30-7 pm.

10 am: Naidu has now reached the Parliament complex where he will cast his vote. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also at the spot. In the presidential election, he was the first one to cast his vote.

9:50 am: We are hearing that members of both Houses are already lining up to vote in the VP election. Remember, this is a closed ballot.

9:43 am: Naidu, on his way to the voting booth in Parliament, told reporters that he was confident about his chances. “I am known to all members of Parliament & they are known to me,thats why I’m not even campaigning,” he told ANI. Naidu, who resigned from the BJP and the union cabinet, said he was a non-party man and that he believed that leaders from other parties will support him. Read more here.

9:40 am: The voting will begin at 10 am. Only the members of both Houses of Parliament are allowed to vote. It will be a closed ballot. The voting is likely to take place along expected party lines. Since the NDA has a numerical majority in the Lok Sabha, the stakes are tilted towards Naidu. However, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the former governor of West Bengal, is expected to give a tough fight.

9:30 am: Welcome to the live blog where we track all the updates from the vice-presidential election happening today in Parliament. The voting and counting will take place today.

(With inputs from agencies)

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