[M. Venkaiah Naidu (second from right) and Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandra Babu Naidu inaugurating the SRM University, in Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh on July 15, 2017.]
New Delhi: Senior BJP leader from Andhra Pradesh in South India and Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, has been declared as the NDA's vice presidential candidate.
Naidu, former BJP president, was chosen at the party's parliamentary board meeting here attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior party leaders.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after a meeting of top BJP leaders, tweeted that he had known the 68-year-old politician for years and had "always admired his hard work and tenacity".
The 68-year old Naidu currently holds the portfolios of Information and Broadcasting and Housing and Urban Affairs.
At 51, he was the youngest president of the BJP. From someone, who as a young party functionary used to make arrangements for Vajpayee’s rallies, he became a leader who shared the dais with the Prime Minister. It was from one such dais that he made that famous 'loh-purush, vikas-purush' comparison between LK Advani and Vajpayee, forcing the latter to settle the matter then and there by alluding to his retirement from active politics.
The UPA led opposition parties have already declared Gopalkrishna Gandhi, former West Bengal Governor and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, as it nominee for the Vice President election. Gandhi has been chosen by an alliance of 18 opposition parties, including the Congress.
The BJP-led NDA's Vice President nominee however enjoys a clear edge over his opposition rival. With the backing of Southern parties like AIADMK, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and YSR Congress, the government candidate is likely to win the votes of 557 MPs in the electoral college of 787 MPs.
The Vice Presidential election will be held on August 05. Tomorrow is the last day for the filing of nominations.
The electoral college for the election consists of 790 MPs of the two chambers of Parliament.