Venkaiah Naidu elected new Vice President of India

Ahead of vice-presidential elections, PM Modi to address NDA MPs today

The NDA on Friday expressed confidence over winning the Vice Presidential polls and said their nominee M. Venkaiah Naidu will do justice to the post.

Mamata Banerjee said opposition leader Gopal Krishna Gandhi fought this election with dignity for certain ideals.

In fact, such was the zeal among the Venkaiah Naidu, who is also a member of Rajya Sabha, that he left his house around 9.30 am and cast a vote at around 10 am.

In the 2007 Vice President elections, incumbent Hamid Ansari had polled 456 votes, Najma Heptullah 222 votes and Rashid Masood 075 votes. While 11 votes were declared invalid, the identities remain untraced due to the secret ballots as many as 14 MPs were absent. BJP leaders, who oversaw the election for the party, said that between 17 and 20 MPs cross-voted, but no details were available on the MPs. The polling will see MPs of both Houses gearing up at Parliament to cast their vote. Members of Parliament marked their choice in the election with special pens. The Lok Sabha has two vacancies, while the Rajya Sabha has one vacancy.

In the 545-member Lok Sabha, the BJP has 281 members. Janata Dal-United, which is now a part of NDA, had announced support for Gandhi. 381 votes were the quota set to win the polls. His father, too, passed away early and he was raised by his maternal uncles. "As a rising nation, we have the onerous responsibility of overcoming poverty, illiteracy, social and gender discrimination, corruption and debasement of politics", he said. Naidu was an ABVP activist during the Emergency and was arrested and jailed. He was also imprisoned during this phase. Then in 1980, Naidu made a decision to join the Bharatiya Janata Party.

He was also the BJP national president for two consecutive terms from July 2002 to October 2004.

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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. The vice-president's post is key as the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, a House which is never dissolved and the days of the NDA's growing clout in it, the Modi government has every reason to feel elated about the outcomes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah met Naidu to congratulate him.

The Advani protege played an integral role in backing Narendra Modi for the Prime Minister's post before the 2014 elections.

Naidu said he was firm believer in the principle of cooperative federalism.

Congress had recently indicated that Naidu had influenced the Telangana government to exempt daughter Deepa Venkat's NGO Swarna Bharat Trust from paying charges amounting to more than Rs 2 crore.

Mr Naidu will also visit Tirupati to offer prayers.

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