Venkaiah Naidu is NDA’s choice for Vice President

Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu.   | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty

The BJP’s parliamentary board picked Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu as the party’s nominee for the post of Vice-President, and his name has been endorsed by the NDA as well.

Party president Amit Shah made the  announcement at the party headquarters in Delhi, emphasising Mr. Naidu’s long career in public life and the various posts that he has occupied within the party and the government. “Across party lines, Venkaiahji is one of the senior most leaders in the country,” Mr. Shah said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, was fulsome in his praise of Mr. Naidu, tweeting: “I know Venkaiah Naidu garu for years. Have always admired him for his hard work and tenacity. A fitting candidate for the office of Vice-President.” He added that a “farmer’s son, Venkaiah Naidu brings years of experience in public life and is admired across the public spectrum.”

Mr. Naidu resigned from the Cabinet later on Monday.

While there had been talk that Mr. Naidu was the choice for Vice-President, it was said the nominee himself was reluctant to end his political career at this stage. But both Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah persuaded him. Sources in the government told The Hindu that Mr. Naidu had been sounded out a couple of days ago by Mr. Shah and had voiced his reservations.

“At that time Amit bhai told him that while he understood the reservations, he should not say this in front of the Prime Minister,” said a senior minister.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Mr. Naidu this morning to formally convey to him the decision, and reportedly told him that while it was difficult for him to spare a senior Cabinet minister for a non-political, Constitutional position, the Vice President’s other duty, that of being chairperson of the Upper House of Parliament was also important.

“Mr Naidu has relationships across the political spectrum and as Parliamentary Affairs Minister has experience in dealing with issues related to running the House,” said the minister.

Rajya Sabha factor

Given that the NDA is short of numbers in the Upper House and will not have a majority there till the end of this government’s tenure, Mr. Naidu is expected to deftly handle the precarious position as the government seeks to clear push though more of its legislative agenda in the next two years.

The BJP also hopes that the choice of Mr Naidu, who is from Nellore in Andhra Pradesh and has been a Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka and has a residence in Chennai, would go a long way in smoothening its path in the southern states. With the NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind hailing from Uttar Pradesh, it is hoped that the choice of Mr Naidu will provide a North-South balance at the top of India’s Constitutional totem pole.

“As of now, Mr. Naidu will file his nomination papers for V-P on Tuesday morning,” said Mr. Shah.

July 18, Tuesday, is the last day for filing nomination papers, with the polls for the post scheduled for August 5. The party has prepared the papers, that require 20 MPs to propose and another 20 to second the nomination.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 12:33:17 PM |

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