M Venkaiah Naidu declared India’s 13th Vice President

RSTV Bureau

NDA nominee M Venkaiah Naidu will be India’s new Vice President. In the Vice Presidential polls, Naidu managed 516 votes and Opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi won 244 votes.

A total of 771 MPs had voted on Saturday. Out of those, 11 votes were declared invalid.

Members of both Houses of Parliament voted between 10 am and 5 pm on Saturday to pick India’s new Vice President. The choice was between NDA nominee M Venkaiah Naidu and Opposition nominee Gopalkrishna Gandhi.

Voting ended at 5 pm and Assistant Returning Officer Mukul Pandey said 98.21 per cent voting was recorded until the end of day. 771 MPs voted out of 785 MPs, who were eligible to cast their vote.

NDA's Vice Presidential Candidate M Venkaiah Naidu and Opposition's Candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi

NDA’s Vice Presidential Candidate M Venkaiah Naidu and Opposition’s Candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Naidu soon after the results were declared.

“I am confident @MVenkaiahNaidu will serve the nation as a diligent & dedicated Vice President, committed to the the goal of nation building….My mind is filled with memories of working with @MVenkaiahNaidu Garu, in the Party & Government. Will cherish this aspect of our association,” said the PM in a series of tweets.

Vice President Md Hamid Ansari also congratulated the new Vice President elect.

Naidu too thanked the MPs and vowed to uphold the dignity of the post.

As expected, Naidu was in a position to win the polls because of the ruling NDA had a majority in the Lok Sabha. Not just that, BJP was also the single largest party in the Rajya Sabha.

In the 545-member Lok Sabha, the BJP has 281 members and the NDA has a total of 338 members.

In the 243-member Rajya Sabha, the BJP as of now has 58 members, which is more than any other party.

Venkaiah-Naidu

MP and NDA nominee for the Vice Presidential polls, M Venkaiah Naidu casts his vote in Parliament House.

Earlier in the day, MPs cast their vote through secret ballot in the Parliament House.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Venkaiah Naidu himself were among the early voters.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, party Vice President Rahul Gandhi and former PM Manmohan Singh cast their vote later in the afternoon.

Opposition's Vice Presidential Candidate Gopal Krishna Gandhi with Congress President Sonia Gandhi

Opposition’s Vice Presidential Candidate Gopal Krishna Gandhi with Congress President Sonia Gandhi

The BJD and the JD(U) which had supported NDA nominee Ramnath Kovind in the Presidential polls, had said that they will back opposition nominee Gandhi.

Even though the JD(U) has broken ties with ‘mahagathbandhan’ and joined hands with the BJP to form a new government in Bihar, the party promised to keep its word and vote for Gandhi, a former governor of West Bengal and Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson.

The term of the present incumbent Vice President Md Hamid Ansari, who has held the post for two consecutive terms, comes to an end on August 10.

The Electoral College which elects the Vice President, who is also the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, consists of elected and nominated members of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.