Published: Sun, August 06, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Vice Presidential election 2017: Vote starts for Vice President

Vice Presidential election 2017: Vote starts for Vice President

Venkaiah Naidu will be the 15th Vice President of India, voting for which was held on Saturday. Mr Naidu, who has travelled the length and breadth of the country for party related activities, often says jokingly that his own grandchildren should call him "TV tata (grandfather)" as his work keeps him away from home for many days. The term of present incumbent Hamid Ansari comes to an end on the 10th of this month. The 68-year-old said that he was "humbled by the honour bestowed on me by electing me to the office of the Vice President of India" by virtue of which he also becomes the Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.

India's ruling National Democratic Alliance's candidate M. Venkaiah Naidu is likely to win the polls, the results of which will be declared the same day. He appealed to NDA MPs to vote for Naidu in the election of Vice President. "If I prepared a non-vegetarian meal, he (Somaiahji) would be happy to be a guest", said Naidu, fondly reminiscing his early years in the party. He had shunned his ministerial post and active politics to contest for the constitutional post. "If there was any cross-voting or invalid votes, each party will look into it". In the previous NDA government led by party patriarch Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he served as rural development minister.

"I congratulate M Venkaiah Naidu Garu on his victory". Naidu added that he is a non-party man and will work towards upholding the Constitution. Opposition's candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi got 244 votes. "Even so, we have got at least 17 unexpected votes from those who promised these to the Opposition", a senior BJP leader said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first to cast their votes in Parliament.

"I am confident M VenkaiahNaidu will serve the nation as a diligent & dedicated Vice President, committed to the goal of nation building". "We will go into the reasons why the members could not make it", leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said. Thank all those who voted against NDA.

Born on 1 July 1949, Venkaiah Naidu was a swayamsevak in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and joined Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), students' wing of BJP, during his college days. He also acquired a degree in law.

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He came to the spotlight for his role in "Jai Andhra" movement of 1972 and became the convenor of the anti-corruption Jayaprakash Chhatra Samiti in 1974.

Naidu is a powerful orator.

His political activism, coupled with his oratory skills, paved his way to the Andhra Assembly from Udayagiri in Nellore district in 1978, and again in 1983. He is a "firm believer in the principle of co-operative federalism", a principle that would guide him if elected Chairperson of the the Rajya Sabha.

He was BJP's national spokesperson between 1996 and 2000. I am also thankful to the Prime Minister and all party leaders for their support. The two had been at the forefront of weathering many political storms.

Vice-President elect Venkaiah Naidu. "He will do justice for the post that he would hold from today", Javadekar said.

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