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Venkaiah Naidu is Vice-President of India, Trounces Opponent by 272 Votes

M Venkaiah Naidu got 516 votes out of total 771 votes cast while Gopalkrishna Gandhi could manage only 244. Of the 771 votes polled, 11 were found to be invalid.


Updated:August 5, 2017, 11:00 PM IST

New Delhi: M Venkaiah Naidu, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate, was elected as the 15th Vice-President of India, securing over two-thirds of votes leaving opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi far behind.

The NDA completed a treble of victories, with the top three constitutional posts - President, Vice-President, and Prime Minister - under its kitty.

Naidu got 516 votes out of total 771 votes cast while Gandhi could manage only 244. Of the 771 votes polled, 11 were found to be invalid. Although 785 MPs are there in both the Houses of Parliament, 14 MPs could not vote.

"Coming from an agricultural background, I never imagined I would be here. Agriculture has no proper voice in Indian polity," India's vice president-elect told PTI.

"I am very humbled. I am also thankful to the Prime Minister and all party leaders for their support. I will seek to utilise the vice presidential institution to strengthen the hands of the president and secondly uphold the dignity of the Upper House," he added.

Naidu will be the 15th Vice-President and 13th person to hold the second highest Constitutional post.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the first people to congratulate the newly elected leader, saying,"Congratulations to @MVenkaiahNaidu Garu on being elected India’s Vice President. My best wishes for a fruitful & motivating tenure."

In another tweet, PM Modi said that he is confident Vinkaiah will serve the nation as a diligent & dedicated Vice President, "committed to the goal of nation building."

Congratulatory messages flew thick and fast, with Venkaiah Naidu's opponent Gopalkrishna Gandhi saying, "He will be the Vice-President of all of India." However, Gandhi also took potshots at the BJP and said that the election saw two victories - one of Naidu, another of free speech; "the second victory belongs to all the people of India."

Congress President Sonia Gandhi also extended her best wishes to Venkaiah Naidu and offered Congress' support "for effective scrutiny of legislations, government policy in the Rajya Sabha."

Minister of State PMO Jitendra Singh said that Indian politics is taking a new turn. "He is the best choice, a fair person, and a pan-India personality," he said.

Last month, Ramnath Kovind became the first BJP leader to win presidential poll defeating opposition's Meira Kumar. Naidu will be the second BJP leader to become vice- president after Bhairon Singh Shekhawat (2002-2007).

The strength of the electoral college consisting both elected and nominated MPs of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha is 790.

While there are two vacancies in the LS, three seats are vacant in the RS also.

One BJP Lok Sabha MP is barred from voting following a judicial pronouncement.

In the 2007 VP poll, incumbent Hamid Ansari had polled 456 votes, Najma Heptullah 222 votes and Rashid Masood 075 votes.

In the 2012 polls, Ansari had bagged 490 and NDA nominee Jaswant Singh 238 votes.

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| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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