Huge cross-voting marks Venkaiah Naidu's election as Vice President

V for Vice-President, V for Venkaiah Let’s take a look at India’s vice-presidential front-runner

The counting starts after 5 PM and the next Vice-president will be declared late in the evening today itself.

NDA nominee and former union minister Venkaiah Naidu is taking on former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the candidate put forward by the Opposition for the post of Vice-President of the country. He seems to be in a comfortable position as the NDA has a clear majority in the Lok Sabha and has the support of some political parties from the south in an effective electoral college of 787 members. In the 243-member Rajya Sabha, the BJP is now the single largest party with 58 members, overtaking the Congress which has 57. The president is the supreme commander of India's armed forces and oversees creation of a government in case of a hung parliament.

Overwhelmed as the "honour has been conferred on a common man like me with a background of agriculture", Naidu said.

"I am very humbled". Mr Venkaiah Naidu's anointment to a constitutional post is a measure of the venerable status he has earned after a long career in politics during which he was also the president of his party.




The Vice-President is elected by an electoral college, which consists of the members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha (both elected and nominated members).

The Congress president Sonia Gandhi - of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, not related to Mahatma Gandhi - in a statement hoped that Naidu, from nationalist BJP, will play a "non-partisan role" as vice president.

"House of Elders (Rajya Sabha) is an important determinant of our democratic functioning to address appropriate checks and balances", she added. Gaining enormous popularity in the state, he was elected as an MLA to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly twice and was the President of AP state unit of BJP from 1988 to 1993. In the previous NDA government led by party patriarch Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he served as rural development minister. Also, by the August 10th, the incumbent Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari completes his second term. Fourteen MPs of different political parties did not vote due to varied reasons. "I will uphold the dignity and decorum of the House with the cooperation of all the Members by acting as per the rules of business and the conventions of the House", Naidu said shortly after he was elected as the new Vice President. He hit the national scene when he was one of the prominent opposition spokespersons along with S Jaipal Reddy (who was then in the Janata Party) during the campaign by NT Rama Rao following his dismissal as the Andhra Pradesh chief minister, by Indira Gandhi in the 1980s. Naidu voted around 10 am.

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