BJP hopes to break logjam in RS with Venkaiah Naidu as Vice Prez

Prime Minister Modi sees Naidu’s craft of countering political adversaries as perfect fit to overcome lack of numbers in the Upper House; nomination may be filed today 

Published: 18th July 2017 08:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th July 2017 08:08 AM   |  A+A-

Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu leaves after casting his vote during president election at the Parliament House on Monday | Shekhar yadav

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: At a time when the ruling BJP is looking to overcome arithmetic limitations in Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Sherpa’ M Venkaiah Naidu has been chosen as NDA’s Vice Presidential candidate. Naidu’s candidature also signifies the BJP’s interest in spreading its footprint down South.Though Modi said he was not keen on sparing any of his Cabinet Ministers for President’s or Vi­ce President’s post, sources sa­id the Prime Minister sees Na­idu and his “craft of  countering po­litical adversaries” as the sol­ution to negotiate the Rajya Sabha maze, where most of government’s legislations are getting stuck due to the NDA’s lack of numbers. The Vice-President of Ind­ia is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and presides over its sessions.

Modi stressed Naidu’s ba­­c­kground as ‘son of a farmer’ and his ‘rich Parliamentary’ experience and said he would be an efficient Chairman of the Upper Ho­use. “I know @MVenkaiah­N­a­idu Garu for years. Have alw­a­y­s admired his hardwork & tena­city. A fitting candidate for the office of Vice President,” he tw­e­e­ted after the Parliamentary Board meeting of the BJP.

At a time when Amit Shah is focusing on a major expansionary initiative, Naidu’s nomination, the saffron outfit hopes, wi­­ll improve its prospects in the south. His election, the party ho­­p­es, would address the lack of southern representation in the to­p-four protocol posts — Presid­ent, Vice President, Prime Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker.

All members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha constitute the electoral college for Vice Presidential polls that would be held on August 5. Even the two nominated members in the Lower Ho­u­se and 12 in Upper House would be given an opportunity to cast their votes, unlike in Presidential elections. The results would be declared on the same day.

BJP is relying on the supp­o­rt of 550 MPs out of the total str­e­­­n­gth of 798 for Naidu to easily t­a­­­ke over the post. H­­­­­­­­­­­­o­­­­­wever, the O­p­position sa­­id it would fi­g­­ht the battle on ‘ideological g­r­­o­u­nds’ and has fielded former We­st Bengal Governor and gra­­n­­­­dson of Mahatma Gandhi, Go­­p­­­­al Krishna Gandhi for the po­­st.

Naidu has held key portfolios at Centre, including ministries of Information and Broadcasti­ng, Urban Development. He’s likely to file nomination today. 

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