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Venkaiah Naidu picked as NDA's candidate for vice president of India

17 July 2017

The opposition parties discussed and revealed that Gopalakrishna Gandhi will be their candidate for Vice-President.

Announcing his candidature, Shah heaped praise on the Andhra Pradesh leader, who is known for his witty rhymes and has often voiced the government's and the party's stand on key issues while taking on the opposition.

Publicly, the 68-year-old Naidu continued to maintain that he was not interested in a constitutional post. The polls are expected to be held on August 5th and BJP is said to sail safe joining hands with all the leading regional parties. He had further added that he would neither want to become the rashtrapati (president) nor uparashtrapati (vice president) but was happy being Usha's pati (spouse). Naidu now holds the portfolios of information and broadcasting and housing and urban affairs.

Naidu would also be useful as an accessible adviser to Ram Nath Kovind as and when the new President would need help on any issue or precedents. The meeting will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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Gopalkrishna Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, is an acclaimed civil servant, diplomat and governor, who is a strong votary of secular ethos, and has clear and independent views.

He said, Mr Naidu, a farmer's son, brings years of experience in public life and is admired across the political spectrum.

Meanwhile, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also expressed his best wishes to Naidu and asserted that he will do justice to the post if given the opportunity. Love for the game led him to the local Sangh group, which played regularly in his neighborhood during his childhood days. A two-time member of Andhra Pradesh assembly, he has been a member of Rajya Sabha from Karnataka thrice and at present represents Rajasthan in the upper house.

However, talking to media, Naidu had earlier said, "All other things are only speculations".

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In the Lok Sabha, the NDA has 338 seats, of which 279 belong to the BJP itself. He has been a veteran party spokesperson, representing the BJP in various capacities, while elucidating on party positions on important issues.

With all its allies on board, the BJP won't have any difficulty in getting its candidate elected as the grouping has many more MPs than the Opposition forming the electoral college for the vice-presidential election.

After being the state president for BJP's Andhra Pradesh unit from 1988 to 1993, he became the national general secretary of the party from 1993 to 2000.

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Venkaiah Naidu picked as NDA's candidate for vice president of India