Venkaiah Naidu: Student leader to Vice President

RSTV Bureau

Members of Parliament have elected M Venkaiah Naidu as India’s 13th Vice President.  The Vice President-elect will be sworn-in on August 11.

Venkaiah Naidu with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah

Venkaiah Naidu with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah

The 68-year-old political veteran hails from Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district. He was born in Chavatapalem village on 1 July 1949.

Naidu was serving as Union Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, and as Minister of Information and Broadcasting before he was chosen as the NDA nominee for the post of Vice President.

Naidu has also served as Rural Development Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government between September 2000 and June 2002.

M Venkaiah Naidu as Urban Development Minister

M Venkaiah Naidu as Urban Development Minister

Naidu has been a Rajya Sabha MP for four consecutive terms. Naidu first came to Rajya Sabha in 1998. He was re-elected in 2004, 2010 and 2016.

His association with politics, especially BJP dates back to his student days in VR College in Nellore.

Naidu was closely associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and BJP’s youth wing ABVP.  He also served as president of ABVP union during his college days.

Venkaiah Naidu speaking in Rajya Sabha as Parliamentary Affairs Minister

Venkaiah Naidu speaking in Rajya Sabha as Parliamentary Affairs Minister

His active participation in Jai Andhra Movement gave him his initial fame in 1972. He also served a jail term under Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) during the Emergency called by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Naidu’s legislative stint began in 1978 when he was elected as an MLA in Andhra Pradesh Assembly.

Vice President elect Venkaiah Naidu, along with his wife Usha, daughter Deepa Venkat and granddaughter Sushma

Vice President elect Venkaiah Naidu, along with his wife Usha, daughter Deepa Venkat and granddaughter Sushma

He held key party positions in BJP at both state and central levels.

Naidu was made BJP’s national president twice. He held the top party post between July-December in 2002 and between January-December in 2004. He also served as BJP Vice President from April 2005 to January 2006.

Until Naidu’s nomination as Vice Presidential nominee, he was a member of BJP’s Parliamentary Board and Central Election Committee since January 2006.