Cross-Voting, Missing Votes Hit Opposition In Vice President Election

Saul Bowman
August 6, 2017

Ahead of the Vice-Presidential elections on Saturday, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate M. Venkaiah Naidu said that he is not competing against an individual or party but is exclusively focused on the post of the Vice-President of India.

Naidu got 516 votes out of the total 771 votes cast while Oppositiom candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, could get only 244 votes.

771 votes out of 785 votes were cast in the elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Naidu expressing confidence that the former Union Minister will remain committed to the goal of nation building.

The voting began at 10 am Saturday and ended at 5 pm this evening.

A two-term member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, Naidu has always been known for his commendable orating skills. "Agriculture has no proper voice in Indian polity", India's Vice President-elect said.

MoS in the Prime Minister's Office, Jitendra Singh, says Naidu's election is the beginning of a "new political culture". Naidu became the youngest national president of BJP at the age of 52 in 2002.

According to party officials, apart from the NDA's 81 Rajya Sabha members and 337 Lok Sabha members, members of the AIADMK, YSR Congress and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) will also be present.

The BJP and its allies enjoy a majority in the 545-member lower house of parliament but not in the upper house, weakening its ability to pass legislation. The BJP now can hope to make political inroads into states, especially those which it is still to conquer, through this provision of the Rajya Sabha's power.

He noted that the Rajya Sabha may be required to play an "even more important role" in the coming years to build a new and modern India.

Naidu's rapport with Opposition leaders and his experience as a Rajya Sabha member is expected to help him in running the House smoothly. It is the affirmation of the right of free thought, free speech.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi also congratulated vice-president Venkaiah Naidu.

Venkaiah Naidu was born on July 1, 1949, in Andhra Pradesh's Nellore district.

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. Naidu had been instrumental in most of the key decisions taken by the Modi government.

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