New Delhi: The BJP-led NDA has decided to field Union Urban Development, and Information And Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu as its Vice Presidential candidate to take on the Opposition’s nominee Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
Naidu, 68, a former BJP president, was the front runner in the race for country’s second top-most important constitutional post being vacated by Hamid Ansari next month. Ansari demits office on August 10.
Naidu’s ability to run the House business in the Lok Sabha as former parliamentary affairs minister and his inter-party equations with many other political parties, mainly from the south Indian states, are said to have weighed in favour of his nomination.
Naidu’s personal relations with the country’s top leaders cutting across political lines have been much better than many of the party’s senior leaders, a senior BJP office bearer told FPJ, indicating it to be among the reasons for picking Naidu.
The Vice President is also the presiding officer of the Rajya Sabha. “These aspects would help him in running of the Upper House, though the Vice-President does not sit in the Rajya Sabha on a day-to-day basis,” he added.
The BJP Parliamentary Board decided unanimously at its meeting held at Ashoka Road office this evening. The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who spent considerable time at the party office well after the meeting.
Naidu’s formal announcement was made by BJP president Amit Shah at a brief press conference in which he said all NDA allies have welcomed the decision of fielding Naidu for the post. Naidu would be filing his nomination on Tuesday morning, party sources said. The election for the vice president’s post is slated for August 5.