On 17 July 2017, M Venkaiah Naidu, the Union urban development and I&B minister was nominated by the NDA government as the candidate for Vice-President of India.
The combined opposition has nominated the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, as their Vice Presidential candidate. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after a meeting of top BJP leaders, tweeted that he had known the 68-year-old politician for years and had "always admired his hard work and tenacity".
M Venkaiah Naidu
Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu (born 1 July 1949) is an Indian politician and the NDA candidate for the post of Vice President of India (July 2017). He served as the Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, Urban Development & Information and Broadcasting in the Modi ministry. As a prominent leader of the BJP, he also served as a national president from 2002 to 2004. Earlier, he was the Union Cabinet Minister for Rural Development in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
Gopalkrishna Devdas Gandhi is the grandson of Mahatama Gandhi, a retired IAS officer and diplomat, who was the 22nd Governor of West Bengal serving from 2004 to 2009. As a former IAS officer he served as Secretary to the President of India and as High Commissioner to South Africa and Sri Lanka, among other administrative and diplomatic posts. He is the United Progressive Alliance nominee for Vice President of India 2017 elections.
Why was he chosen?
By nominating Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu for the vice-presidential elections coming up next month; BJP has stuck to its basic criterion of going for someone who represents a southern state, since it chose the Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind from Uttar Pradesh.
The nomination of Naidu, who represents Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and even Tamil Nadu for his close association with the state, could be beneficial to BJP for the 2019 Lok Sabha.
He is a veteran leader of the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House in Parliament where the ruling NDA still lacks a majority.
Given that the House needs to be run smoothly, Naidu's years of experience in Parliament and his acceptance across all the parties are added advantage for the BJP.
Our assessment is that Venkaihai Naidu is known for taking up an important role in the issues concerning Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to the Centre. He is a strong contender for the post for the Vice President of India.