Vice-Presidential Polls 2017: Venkaiah Naidu will be India's next Vice President.
M Venkaiah Naidu, 68, was elected today
as India's Vice President. Like the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance or NDA's Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, Mr Naidu comes from a humble background. In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said
, "I am confident @MVenkaiahNaidu will serve the nation as a diligent & dedicated Vice President, committed to the the goal of nation building (sic)." But while Governor Kovind was almost a political unknown, Mr Naidu - a two-time Union minister and four-time Rajya Sabha member - enjoyed cordial relations with colleagues across party lines. He is known to be jovial, has a talent for acronyms and is a good orator.
- With 516 votes, Venkaiah Naidu defeated former West Bengal Governor and Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the opposition candidate, who got 244 votes.
- He will be the third vice-president from Andhra Pradesh. The list includes Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and VV Giri, both of whom later became President.
- He was elected to the Rajya Sabha thrice from Karnataka and once from Rajasthan.
- The veteran leader served as the BJP national president from July 2002 to October 2004. He quit the post after the party's defeat in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections.
- Mr Naidu served as the Rural Development Minister in the NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
- In PM Narendra Modi's government, he held the portfolios of Parliamentary Affairs, Information and Broadcasting and Urban Development.
- As the Urban Development minister, he started several urban missions, including the Smart City Mission, Atal Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission and Housing for All. He was also instrumental in launching the 'Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana' as the rural development minister.
- Though Mr Naidu is from the South, he learnt Hindi and addressed many rallies in north India. He is an enthusiastic proponent of Hindi as the national language.
- Coming from an agricultural family of Andhra Pradesh's Nellore district, Mr Naidu started his political career in 1973 as a student leader and later joined the Jan Sangh.
- He was elected twice to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly.
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