Vice President Polls: BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu files nomination

Vice President Polls: BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu files nomination

Vice President Polls: BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu files nomination

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Party President Amit Shah, Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj, Venkaiah Naidu, J P Nadda, Thawar Chand Gehlot and Ananth Kumar were present in the meeting.

The opposition has already declared the name of former West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi for the post.

What BJP wants is not a southern sojourn but a permanent stay and Venkaiah Naidu seems to be the ideal navigator.

In a "farewell" press conference soon after he filed his nomination, he expressed his gratitude to the prime minister and BJP chief Amit Shah as he played down reports that he was not very keen for the new responsibility. The election is slated for 5 August and incumbent VP Hamid Ansari will demit office on 10 August.

Naidu, 68, had kept a low profile and been tight-lipped about the chances of him being the V-P nominee for the BJP. He is certainly better known than the presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, who has risen from relative obscurity. "I am not going to say anything against anyone", he said, adding that he has no intention to campaign for the election. With his brilliant oratory, Naidu stood apart from other and became one of the most popular BJP leaders in Andhra Pradesh. Moreover, in states like Tamil Nadu, where the BJP is constantly meddling and acting behind the scenes, having a Naidu in a top ceremonial post would mean easier negotiations. In this election only the 790 members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, including the nominated members, can cast their vote.

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Venkaiah had three continuous terms in the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka from 1998 to 2016, when he shifted to Rajasthan to get a fourth term.

A graduate in law, Naidu has also been a member and chairperson of several parliamentary committees and is well-versed with the functioning of Parliament. He stated that he will remain as a Rajya Sabha MP.

His oratory skills and political activism propelled his political career and he was elected as an MLA to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly twice from Udayagiri constituency in Nellore district in 1978 and 1983. Mr. Naidu has served as the spokesperson of his party for many years, coming across as a non-confrontational person; and someone with the management abilities and political acumen to handle the pressures of the post. Naidu has also served as president of the BJP from July 2002 to October 2004. While AIADMK-BJP's first alliance had ended in 1999, Naidu took the initiative of realigning with the Dravidian party.

He had been associated with the BJP since his youth and was an Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad leader and students' union leader.

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