New Delhi: NDA nominee M Venkaiah Naidu was on Saturday elected as the next Vice President of India by securing over two-thirds of votes leaving opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi far behind.
Naidu got 516 votes out of total 771 votes cast while Gandhi could only manage 244 votes. Of the total 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 said.
“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 13th person to hold the second highest Constitutional post. The strength of the electoral college comprising 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.