Vice-Presidential Election 2017: Venkaiah Naidu is NDA's nominee, to take on Opposition's Gopalkrishna Gandhi

Information and broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu has been selected as the NDA candidate for the post of vice-president, BJP president Amit Shah announced at a press conference on Monday evening.

Shah went on to say why Naidu deserves candidature of this post. "Naidu started as a student leader and rose through the ranks and all NDA allies support his candidature,"Shah said adding across the country and party lines, Naidu is respected as a minister.

BREAKING -- NDA picks @MVenkaiahNaidu as their Vice-Presidential candidate.


Naidu will file his nomination on Tuesday at 11 am.

M Venkaiah Naidu is a fitting candidate for the office of vice-president, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday soon after the senior BJP leader was chosen as the ruling NDA's candidate. Modi described 68-year-old Naidu as a farmer's son who "brings years of experience in public life and is admired across the political spectrum".

He said he has always admired the hard work and tenacity of Naidu, currently a minister in his Cabinet holding the portfolios of Information and Broadcasting and Urban Development.

"I know @MVenkaiahNaidu Garu for years. Have always admired his hard work & tenacity. A fitting candidate for the office of Vice President," the prime minister tweeted, soon after the announcement of the decision of BJP's Parliamentary Board, the highest decision-making body of the party.

"The years of Parliamentary experience @MVenkaiahNaidu Garu has will help him discharge the important role of Rajya Sabha chairperson," Modi added. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Parliamentary Board met on Monday evening, sources told IANS. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly attended the meeting.

Naidu, 68 and a former BJP president, met Modi and spoke with BJP president Amit Shah, the sources said.

 Vice-Presidential Election 2017: Venkaiah Naidu is NDAs nominee, to take on Oppositions Gopalkrishna Gandhi

File image of Venkaiah Naidu. PTI

Earlier, Naidu had stated categorically that there was no chance of him contesting the vice-presidential election.

"Never am I going to participate in vice-president election even if anyone compels me," Naidu said.

"Happiness for me is to meet people, be among them and serve them. I cannot stay away from people by taking up any ceremonial position," the minister added.

He had declared he would neither want to become the rashtrapati (president) nor uparashtrapati (vice president) but was happy being Usha's pati (his spouse).

"I wish to speak without any barriers and say what I feel, travel to different places, meet people and eat their food," he added.

Naidu has been pitted against Gopalkrishna Gandhi whose name was endorsed by all 18 Opposition parties, including the JD(U), which is backing the NDA's candidate in the presidential poll. The former West Bengal Governor will file his nomination tomorrow too.

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.

Gandhi, 72, had a distinguished career in the civil service before he became a diplomat and governor. Later, he turned an academic, author and columnist.

Gandhi's term as West Bengal governor between 2004-09 coincided with the violent land struggles in Singur and Nandigram that contributed to the Left losing its dominance in the state and Trinamool Congress replacing it in power in the state.

The term of Vice-President Hamid Ansari, who is also ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha, ends on 10 August.



With inputs from agencies


Updated Date: Jul 19, 2017 18:03:12 IST