India to elect new vice president Saturday

Casey Dawson
August 6, 2017

As National Democratic Alliance candidate, Venkaiah Naidu won the vice-presidential election with over 500 votes, Opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi expresses gratitude for all those who voted for him. Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi, a former West Bengal Governor and a diplomat, has the support of the Congress, the Left parties, Nationalist Congress Party, DMK, Trinamool Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party and National Conference.

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Janata Dal (United) which had supported NDA nominee Ramnath Kovind for the post of president, had chose to back opposition nominee Gandhi. He served as the Party President for 2 years. It also set him on a tedious journey - from an RSS activist to a ABVP member - which propelled him into the spotlight after the Jan Andhra Movement in 1972.

Earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP President Amit Shah congratulated Naidu for his new post. Also, the Vice President has so many powers.

Naidu will be the second BJP leader to become Vice President after Bhairon Singh Shekhawat (2002-2007). He has served as BJP spokesperson and president.

In Modi's government, first he was Parliamentary Affairs Minister as well as the Housing and Urban Development. He also held the Information & Broadcasting ministry.

While addressing the meeting, the Prime Minister said that the way in which five years before independence had a radical change, the country got freedom. "As a rising nation, we have the onerous responsibility of overcoming poverty, illiteracy, social and gender discrimination, corruption and debasement of politics", he said.

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"If one needs money, we will offer loans, banks will help".

Naidu faced severe backlash for the remarks, which came amid the rising agrarian distress and farmer suicides.

It's not just controversial remarks - Naidu is equally famous for coming up with quirky acronyms. Congress party president Sonia Gandhi votes in the Parliament.

Born July 1, 1949 in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, Venkaiah Naidu lost his mother when he was 18 months old.

The electoral college that votes for the vice-president, who is also the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha, has 543 elected and two nominated members of the Lok Sabha, besides the 233 elected members and 12 nominated members of the Rajya Sabha.

In the 545-member Lok Sabha, the BJP has 281 members. Naidu has had the privilege of being elected to the Rajya Sabha three times from Karnataka. 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.

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