Venkaiah Naidu elected 13th vice president of India

07 Aug 2017


With two-term vice president Hamid Ansari's tenure ending on 10 August, Venkaiah Naidu, who will take oath the next day, by virtue of being elected vice-president, will also become ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

Venkaiah NaiduNDA nominee Venkaiah Naidu was elected as the 13th vice president of India on Saturday, to succeed Hamid Ansari, securing two-thirds of the cast votes, beating opposition candidate Gopalakrishna Gandhi by a big margin.

Naidu secured 516 of the total 771 votes cast while Gandhi, who is a grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, managed to win support of 244 members of Parliament.

Of the total 771 votes polled, 11 were found to be invalid.

Although the Parliament has 785 MPs, including both Houses, 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," PTI quoted the vice president-elect as saying.

"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.

The two houses of Parliament – Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha – has a combined strength of 790 which forms the electoral college that elects the vice president.

However, there is a shortfall of two BJP leaders, Sanwarlal Jat and Vijay Goel, who are hospitalised and could not vote, while another BJP Lok Sabha MP was barred from voting following a judicial pronouncement.

"I promise to uphold the Constitution and the high standards set by my esteemed predecessors. With all humility, express gratitude to every MP who supported my candidature cutting across party lines," Naidu tweeted.

"I promise to uphold the Constitution and the high standards set by my esteemed predecessors," he added.

Unlike the presidential election, in which the electoral college also includes MLAs of all state assemblies and union territories, only MPs of the two Houses can vote in the vice presidential poll.

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