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I&B min Venkaiah Naidu nominated as NDA’s VP candidate

MUMBAI: The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has nominated Information & Broadcasting (I&B) Minister M Venkaiah Naidu as its candidate for the post of Vice President of India. It had earlier nominated governor of Bihar Ram Nath Kovind as the candidate for the post of President.

With both NDA candidates expected to sail through due to sufficient numbers in the electoral college, the post of I&B minister will fall vacant once Naidu is elected VP. Currently, Naidu is the cabinet minister for I&B while Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is his deputy as MoS.

Naidu had replaced Arun Jaitley as the cabinet minister for I&B following a cabinet reshuffle on 5 July. He also holds the urban development and poverty alleviation portfolio in addition to I&B ministry.

“I know @MVenkaiahNaidu Garu for years. Have always admired his hardwork & tenacity. A fitting candidate for the office of Vice President. A farmer’s son, @MVenkaiahNaidu Garu brings years of experience in public life and is admired across the political spectrum. The years of Parliamentary experience @MVenkaiahNaidu Garu has will help him discharge the important role of Rajya Sabha Chairperson,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted on his Twitter account.

The vice presidential election will be held on 5 August and the last date for filing of nominations is 18 July. The voting for the post of President, which was held today, saw a near 100% voting. The counting will happen on 20 July.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidates for presidency and vice presidency are former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar and former West Bengal governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi respectively.

Incumbent President Pranab Mukherjee’s five-year tenure will end on 25 July while the term of VP Hamid Ansari, who is also ex officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha, ends on 10 August.

Born on 1 July 1949 in Chavatapalem, a remote village in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, Naidu completed his graduation from VR College, Nellore. After completing his graduation, he obtained a law degree from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam.

He began his political life as a student leader in 1971. Naidu has also served as president of the BJP from July 2002 to October 2004. He was re-elected to Rajya Sabha for a fourth term from Rajasthan.