BJP consults RSS; PM talks to senior ministers on V-P poll

Vice President from South

Who will be the BJP's pick for Vice President?

Senior BJP leader and the Union cabinet minister holding the twin portfolios for Housing and Urban Affairs and Information and Broadcasting, M Venkaiah Naidu is the party's choice to contest the polls for the post of the vice-president of India. Naidu eased out for non-performance At the same time, BJP sources said 68-year-old Naidu who belongs to Kamma caste from Andhra is not exactly Prime Minister Narendra Modi's favourite person.

A political veteran, Venkaiah Naidu is now serving as a Union Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation as well as the Information and Broadcasting Minister.

The opposition has already declared former diplomat and Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi as their candidate.

NDA's vice-presidential nominee Venkaiah Naidu is often seen defending the BJP-led government on issues that seem to push it on the backfoot.

With the Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind hailing from Uttar Pradesh, the party is believed to have looked for a Vice President candidate from the south, and Naidu fitted the bill.

This time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah did not spring any last minute surprise.

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If elected Vice President, Naidu will also be the ex officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha where the BJP still lacks a majority. "I am happy being Usha's pati (husband of Usha)". Being the tallest leader in the party in the south, he was always out and about when politics took important turns in states like Tamil Nadu, undivided and post-divided Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

At 51, he was the youngest president of the BJP.

Born on 1 July 1949, Naidu began his career as a student leader in Andhra University in the early seventies.

But the party leaders had other ideas for him.

All members of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, including nominated members, form the electoral college for electing the Vice President. Venkaiah Naidu will resign tonight to all his posts as Minister.

Describing the presidential election as "a clash of ideas, a conflict of disparate values", Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday said India's future is at stake in the election so it demands a "vote of conscience to preserve secular ideals of the country".

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