Venkaiah Naidu is NDA's vice presidential candidate, to take on Opposition's Gopalkrishna Gandhi
Venkaiah Naidu is ruling NDA's candidate for Vice Presidential poll.
New Delhi: Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs and Information and Broadcasting, M Venkaiah Naidu, is ruling NDA's candidate for Vice Presidential poll.
He was chosen at the BJP Parliamentary board meeting here attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior party leaders.
Making a formal announcement BJP president Amit Shah told the media, "It has been decided that one of our tallest leader Venkaiah Naidu is our candidate for Vice President. He does not need any introductions. Venkaiah ji has a lot of experience."
He added, "He has been associated with the BJP since childhood and has been in public life for over 25 years and belongs to a farmer's family."
"All the NDA allies have welcomed his candidate. He is one of the tallest and one of the most experienced leaders across party lines. He will file his nomination tomorrow," Shah further said.
Asked about reports that Naidu was reluctant to take up the new responsibility, the BJP chief told reporters, "There is nothing like this".
He maintained that the senior leader had always accepted the party's decisions.
On his part, PM Modi said, "I know M Venkaiah Naidu Garu for years. Have always admired his hard work and tenacity. A fitting candidate for the office of Vice President."
He also tweeted, "A farmer’s son, Venkaiah Naidu Garu brings years of experience in public life and is admired across the political spectrum."
PM Modi further wrote, "The years of Parliamentary experience Venkaiah Naidu Garu has will help him discharge the important role of Rajya Sabha Chairperson."
An alliance of 18 Opposition parties, including the Congress, has already announced Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi as its candidate for Vice Presidential poll scheduled for August 5.
July 18 is the last date for filing of nominations.
The electoral college for the August 5 election consists of 790 MPs of the two chambers of Parliament.
The term of Vice President Hamid Ansari ends on August 10.
Naidu resigns as Union Minister:
Meanwhile, Naidu today resigned after he was chosen as the NDA's candidate for the vice presidential election.
A source said Naidu has tendered his resignation, as per PTI.
"Although Naidu was not required to resign technically, he has tendered his resignation to set high political standards as he has entered the electoral fray (for vice presidential position)," he said.
Naidu was an ABVP activist during the Emergency and was arrested and jailed.
He was elected as an MLA to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly twice from Udayagiri constituency in 1978 and 1983.
When the Congress swept the polls in Andhra Pradesh in 1978, Naidu got elected as MLA from Udayagiri Constituency as a Janata Party candidate.
He was re-elected on a BJP ticket when NT Rama Rao swept the polls in the state
The 68-year-old veteran party leader also served as the BJP national president from July 2002 to October 2004 for two consecutive terms.
After the defeat of the BJP-led NDA in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, he resigned from his post on 18 October 2004.
He was rural development minister in the previous NDA government led by Vajpayee.
He was elected to the Rajya Sabha three times from Karnataka and currently represents Rajasthan in the Upper House of Parliament.
(With Agency inputs)