New Delhi, Aug 5: Former Minister of Information and Broadcasting and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee M Venkaiah Naidu was on Saturday declared the winner in the election for the 13th Vice-President of India. He defeated the Opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi. The voting of polls began at the Parliament House on Saturday morning. A total of 771 out of 785 votes were polled and a turnout of 98.21 per cent was recorded till the conclusion of the voting process at 5 pm.
Earlier in the day, Naidu said he was “a non-party man” and that majority of the parties supported his candidature. “I am confident that they all will vote today (Saturday),” Naidu told the media. “I am contesting for the post of Vice President,” he said. The 68-year-old said he was known to all members of the Parliament and this was the reason that he did not campaign. ALSO READ: Why Venkaiah Naidu Was Chosen by BJP
The former Union Minister was on July 17 fielded against Opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi for the post of Vice President.
Here are five lesser known facts about Venkaiah Naidu:
– Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu was born on 1 July, 1949 at Chavatapalem in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. He owns a Bachelor’s degree in law with a specialisation in international law from Andhra University College of Law, Visakhapatnam. His political career started in 1973 as a student leader and later, he joined the Jan Sangh.
– Apart from being on the second highest post in the country and serving as the deputy to the President Ram Nath Kovind, Naidu will also serve as the Chairman of Rajya Sabha. He will succeed Hamid Ansari who will demit office on August 10.
– He is the third Vice-President of India who belongs to Andhra Pradesh. Before him Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and VV Giri had served as the first and third vice-president of India respectively. Interestingly, Naidu had learnt Hindi to get closer to the masses in North India. Today, he is an enthusiastic proponent of Hindi as the national language.
– The veteran leader was elected to the Rajya Sabha thrice from Karnataka and once from Rajasthan. Notably, he was also elected to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly twice. He has even served as the BJP national president from July 2002 to October 2004 however, he quit the post after the party’s defeat in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections.
– Naidu has also served as the Rural Development Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-headed NDA government. 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.
Currently, 79-year-old Hamid Ansari is serving as the Vice President of India. He is set to vacate his post on August 10. The former diplomat was elected during the UPA rule, in 2007, and is serving his second term as the Vice President.