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President Elections: Venkaiah Naidu vs Gopalkrishna Gandhi

06 August 2017

The counting would start soon after polling and the results are expected to be declared around 7 in the evening.

The ruling NDA candidate and former Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu was on Saturday elected as the next Vice-President of India by securing over two-thirds of votes. The BJP has 58 members in the 245-member Rajya Sabha, the Congress has 57, making the BJP the single-largest party.

Almost 97 per cent of the members of Parliament exercised their franchise till 3 pm in the vice presidential poll on Saturday.

"I promise to uphold the constitution and the high standards set by my esteemed predecessors", Naidu said on Twitter. One nominated and one Independent member also could not cast their votes.

"I am very humbled". Congress party president Sonia Gandhi votes in the Parliament.

The vice president of India is also the ex-officio chairperson of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament.

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The Advani protege played an integral role in backing Narendra Modi for the Prime Minister's post before the 2014 elections. One BJP Lok Sabha MP is barred from voting following a judicial pronouncement. He rose to become BJP's president in July 2002, a post he held till December, 2002.

Speaking to the media, Gandhi thanks all the opposition party MPs who voted for him.

Born in an agricultural family in Andhra Pradesh's Nellore, Mr Naidu has served as BJP president, Central minister in-charge of various portfolios and he has been a long-time Rajya Sabha member. Gandhi, the former Governor of West Bengal and a diplomat, was supported by the Congress, the Left parties, the Nationalist Congress Party, the Dravida Munetra Kazhagam, the Trinamool Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the National Conference. During NDA-1 government, BJP lacked the number to install a candidate for the Presidential post.

The term of incumbent Vice-President Hamid Ansari, who held the position for two consecutive terms, will come to an end on August 10.

NDA candidate Naidu has the numbers favouring him over the Oppn's nominee Gandhi.

Along with the above mentioned qualities and qualifications of Naidu, the other two unique hallmarks of the veteran politician are, that he is a great host in the capital inviting his party and cabinet, ministerial colleagues and journalists for lavish lunches at his residence.

President Elections: Venkaiah Naidu vs Gopalkrishna Gandhi