NDA nominee and former Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu was elected as the 13th Vice President of India after comfortably defeating Opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi in the Vice-Presidential election on Saturday. While Naidu secured 516 votes in his favour, Gandhi managed to get only 244 votes. Reflecting on his thumping win, Naidu said, “I am very humbled. I am also thankful to the Prime Minister and all party leaders for their support.”
Over 98 percent voting was recorded in the vice-presidential election. 771 out of 785 MPs have voted in the election, however 11 votes were found to be invalid, said Assistant returning officer Mukul Pandey.
“Coming from an agricultural background, I never imagined I would be here. Agriculture has no proper voice in Indian polity,” India’s vice president-elect said after being elected. “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,” Venkaiah Naidu added.
In the 2007 Vice-Presidential poll, incumbent Hamid Ansari had secured 456 votes, while Najma Heptullah bagged 222 votes and Rashid Masood 075 votes. During the 2012 polls, Ansari had secured 490 to NDA nominee Jaswant Singh’s 238 votes.
It’s an honour for me to become Vice President from a family of an ordinary farmer.This Speaks for the beauty & strength of our democracy
— M Venkaiah Naidu (@MVenkaiahNaidu) August 5, 2017
Congratulating Naidu on his victory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Congratulations to Venkaiah Naidu Garu on being elected India’s Vice President. My best wishes for a fruitful & motivating tenure.” The Prime Minister also expressed confidence that the Vice-President elect will serve nation as a diligent and dedicated Vice President, committed to the the goal of nation building.
Who is Venkaiah Naidu ?
Born to a humble agricultural family in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, 68-year-old Naidu was interested in politics since his childhood and joined ABVP in 1973. After completing his graduation, Naidu pursued his law from Andhra University in Visakhapatnam.
Naidu first entered in the mainstream politics with ‘Jai Andhra Movement’ of 1972, and later joined BJP in 1980. He became famous with the common people because of his outspoken skill and ability to work at the ground level.
He won the assembly election twice in 1978 and 1983 from Udayagiri constituency, and became the Rajya Sabha MP thrice in 1998, 2004 and 2010.
He served as a cabinet minister both under the Vajpayee-led government and Modi government. He served as a Minister of Urban Development, and also as a Parliamentary Affairs Minister under Modi government. He was elected as the national President of BJP in 2002. In his tenure, he had launched ‘Gaon Chalo Abhiyan’ where the party leaders reached out to the villagers at every corner of the country and also launched ‘Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana’.
With PTI inputs