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06 August 2017, 01:35 | Kara Nash
Ahead of vice-presidential elections, PM Modi to address NDA MPs today
Almost 97 per cent of the members of Parliament exercised their franchise till 3 pm in the vice presidential poll on Saturday.
The Opposition's nominee is former governor of West Bengal Gopalkrishna Gandhi, grandson of the Father of the Nation.
Members of both Houses of Parliament vote in the vice-presidential election through secret ballot and no whip is allowed.
Like most politicians, he has also been jailed, back in the time of emergency in the country, Naidu went against the Indira government and got jailed.
Gandhi, the joint opposition nominee, polled 244 votes against the 516 secured by Naidu to win the election by more than two-third majority.
Born in 1949 in Nellore district of what is today Andhra Pradesh, Naidu cut his teeth in student politics. Right from his college days, he was deeply interested in the welfare of the common man, particularly the farmers and the down trodden sections of the society. At a very young age, he became a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and joined ABVP in 1973 as a student leader. "I can not stay away from people by taking up any ceremonial position", He had declared he would neither want to become the rashtrapati (president) nor uparashtrapati (vice president) but was happy being Usha's pati (his spouse).
On Twitter, the vice-president elect thanked "every MP who supported my candidature". Later, he said he will try to take everyone along with him. "I am also thankful to the Prime Minister and all party leaders for their support", India's vice president-elect told PTI.
Although 785 MPs were eligible to vote in Saturday's election, 14 MPs could not vote. He wishes Naidu all the best for the new office.
As the first Minister of Parliamentary Affairs in the Modi government, Naidu had defended the prime minister and the government whenever the opposition targeted them in both the houses of Parliament.
Apart from MPs of BJP and NDA component parties, senior party leaders and ministers were also present in the program.
The prime minister's message came immediately after Naidu, the ruling NDA's candidate, was declared victor in the vice presidential polls, bagging 516 votes out of total 771 votes cast. "I am confident Venkaiah Naidu will serve nation as a diligent and dedicated vice president, committed to the goal of nation building", he tweeted. He said the number that voted for him is beyond expectations.
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