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Venkaiah Naidu is NDA’s V-P pick

| | New Delhi
Venkaiah Naidu is NDA’s V-P pick

Urban Development Minister and senior BJP leader Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu was on Monday nominated as the vice-presidential candidate of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with BJP Parliamentary Board officially announcing his name “with full consensus”.

Naidu, who faces Oppo-sition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi, will file his nomination for election to Vice-President post on Tuesday morning.

BJP president Amit Shah announced the decision of the Parliamentary Board. “Many names were considered but the final consensus reached on Naidu, one of the senior most leaders in the country with 25 years of Parliamentary experience,” he said.

Considering that the elected Vice-President is also Chairman of Upper House, who will be tasked to run the proceeding there, Naidu seemed to fit the bill. The Modi Government is set to introduce and seek passage of several important legislations through the Rajya Sabha.

Naidu’s elevation as Vice-President would leave Urban Development and I&B Ministries unmanned. This apart, Parliamentary Board and Rajya Sabha (Naidu is elected from Rajasthan) will have one vacancy each.

Known for his good command over English and Hindi, the NDA Vice-President candidate was recently praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his knowledge about the national Capital. “Naiduji knows Delhi as much as Vijaywada,” the Prime Minister had said about him.

Praising Naidu, Shah said Naidu stepped into public life in 1970 and played key role as a member of ‘Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)’ in the Jaiprakash movement. Naidu has held important post of general secretary in the party and was two-term national BJP president first being from 2002-2004. 

He succeeded Jana Krishnamurthy as the national BJP president in 2002 and was elected unopposed for a full three-year term. After the defeat of the BJP-led NDA in the 2004 general elections, he resigned from his post on October 18, 2004 and was succeeded by LK Advani. He was the Union Cabinet Minister for Rural Development in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government.

Naidu was born at Chavatapalem in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh on July 1, 1949. He completed schooling from VR High School, Nellore, and pursued his bachelor’s degree in politics and diplomatic studies from VR College. Later, he acquired a bachelor’s degree in law with a specialisation in international law from Andhra University College of Law, Visakhapatnam.

He was a Rs swayamsevakRs  in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and joined ABVP during his college days. He was elected as the president of the students’ union of colleges-affiliated to the Andhra University. He came into spotlight for his prominent role in the Rs Jai Andhra MovementRs  of 1972. While Kakani Venkata Ratnam led the movement from Vijayawada, Naidu took active part in the agitation in Nellore, until it was called off a year later.

Both as a student leader and political figure, Naidu gained prominence as a good orator.

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.

He was elected as a member of the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka in 1998. He has since been re-elected twice in 2004 and 2010 from Karnataka and currently a member from Rajasthan. He served as the party spokesperson from 1996 to 2000, bringing to the job his panache for quirky alliterations and similes. Unlike most politicians from southern India, Naidu made an effort to master Hindi, going on to address public rallies in northern India.

Following the historic victory of the BJP in the 2014 general elections, he has sworn in as the Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs on 26 May 2014. Naidu later shed portfolio of Parliamentary Affairs and instead given key I&B Ministry.

 
 
 

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