Voting for Vice-Presidential election begins in Parliament

Voting for Vice-Presidential election begins in Parliament

As the counting of votes to elect the 15th Vice-President of India ended, it emerged that M. Venkaiah Naidu, with 516 votes, had polled the highest number of votes for a vice-presidential candidate in 33 years.

As National Democratic Alliance candidate, Venkaiah Naidu won the vice-presidential election with over 500 votes, Opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi expresses gratitude for all those who voted for him.

The election is speculated to be a cake-walk for Naidu, because of the BJP's current strong position and their allies in the Parliament.

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This is the first time in the history of India that Congress is not on any of the top three constitutional posts-Prime Minister, President, and Vice-President. The Lok Sabha now has 545 members and the Rajya Sabha 244.

Therefore, all this ensured Naidu as the right choice for vice presidential candidate.

The voting started at 10 a.m. and will continue till 5 p.m. Besides BJP veteran LK Advani, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya also cast their votes. "I have written a polite letter to everyone and the response has been very good". He said, "My mind is filled with memories of working with Venkaiah Naidu in the party and government".

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The vice president takes over in the event of the death, resignation or removal of the president and is also chairman of the upper house of parliament, or Rajya Sabha. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administation has a majority in the lower house but trails in 245-member upper house.

The total strength of the two Houses is 790, but there are two vacancies in the Lok Sabha and one in the Rajya Sabha. Mr Naidu, who has travelled the length and breadth of the country for party related activities, often says jokingly that his own grandchildren should call him "TV tata (grandfather)" as his work keeps him away from home for many days. He rose to become BJP's president in July 2002, a post he held till December, 2002. He served as a Union Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Information and Broadcasting Minister and also a four term Rajya Sabha MP. In the previous NDA government led by party patriarch Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he served as rural development minister.

M Venkaiah Naidu defeated united opposition UPA's candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi by a huge margin of 272 votes.

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