New Delhi, Aug 5: The Vice Presidential elections were held today in the Parliament House, with over 98 per cent polling being recorded. The poll battle featured a contest between veteran politician and former Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, nominated by the ruling NDA, against ex-diplomat and former West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi, who was representing the joint opposition bloc of 17 parties.
Moving into the vice presidential polls, numbers were stacked up in favour of the BJP and its allies. Naidu, who was poised to receive votes of 334 NDA MPs from Lok Sabha and 81 from Rajya Sabha, was also extended support by the AIADMK (50), Telangana Rashtra Samiti (14), YSR Congress (10) from the non-NDA camp.
Gandhi, while contesting an uphill battle, told reporters here, “I did not fight this election to win. For me, this is a battle of ideology and for the safeguarding of the constitution.” Naidu, on the other hand, said his battle is not against any individual. ALSO READ: Why Venkaiah Naidu Was Chosen by BJP
The winner of the vice presidential poll would takeover the second most coveted constitutional post on August 10, when Dr Hamid Ansari would be demitting office. Ansari, 79, has been serving as the Vice President since July 21, 2007.
In case of Naidu’s victory, it would mark the first instance in Indian politics when the occupants of the top three constitutional posts – President, Vice President and Prime Minister – have roots in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Naidu could also play a key role in Rajya Sabha, whose chairman is the Vice President. With NDA lacking numbers in the Upper House, Naidu being the chair could aid the ruling party in holding edge over the functioning of the House.
However, Naidu reiterated about him turning non-partisan while speaking to reporters on Saturday. “I am not a member of any political party now. Once I was announced as the vice presidential candidate, I ceased to be the Union Minister and a member of the BJP,” he said.