Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Venkaih versus Gopal

Union Housing and Urban Affairs, and Information and Broadcasting Minister Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu is the NDA’s candidate for the post of Vice President. Now, the stage is set for the contest in the vice presidential election to be held on August 5 between NDA's Venkaih Naidu and Opposition's Gopal Krishna Gandhi. Both the candidates have come from two different fields of activities. Venkaih Naidu has been a veteran and seasoned politician while Gopal Krishna Gandhi has been an administrator, diplomat and former governor of West Bengal. The Congress-led 18 opposition parties have endorsed the name of Gopal Krishna Gandhi as their nominee in vice presidential elections. BJP-led NDA has fielded Naidu as their vice presidential candidate to expand their political influence in South India. They had already announced the name of Ram Nath Kovind, who is a north Indian, for their presidential candidate. Venkaih Naidu has been the pillar of BJP in South India as he hails from Andhra Pradesh. In order to balance the North-South equation in politics, the BJP has yet again played a master stroke. As far as the number in the Electoral College for Vice President is concerned, it is in favour of NDA. The elected members of both Houses of Parliament cast votes in the vice presidential election. So, Venkaiha Naidu becoming vice president is a foregone conclusion. These presidential and vice presidential elections will draw the map clearly about the nature of contest between the ruling BJP-led NDA and opposition Congress-led UPA in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. One thing also to be taken into consideration is that unlike presidential election, the Congress has already taken assurance from the JD(U) for supporting its candidate Gopal Krishna Gandhi in the vice presidential election. JD(U) supported NDA’s nominee in the presidential election. The post of Vice President is also a high constitutional post and it is also apolitical. Opposition candidate Gopal Krishna Gandhi is not attached to any political party, though he is against the ideology of BJP. BJP's vice presidential candidate has been a hardcore follower of Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh, the doting parent of BJP. He began his political innings through the RSS. First he joined RSS through the game of Kabbadi and then the BJP. He has also been the student leader of the BJP. He has 40 years of political experience as BJP leader, minister, party president, MLA and MP. He has been very active in political activities all his life. Initially, he showed reluctance but when party put pressure and declared his name as its candidate for Vice presidential election, he accepted the party order as its true lieutenant. Undoubtedly, Venkaiah Naidu has been very popular in political field for a long time. The BJP's motive behind declaring his name as its candidate for vice presidential elections is to run the Upper House smoothly as he has been its member for four terms. But with becoming the Vice President, he would no longer be a BJP man. As Vice President is the ex-officio chairman of the Upper House. BJP is also not in majority in Upper House and because of this, it failed to get many bills passed in the previous days. Naidu was elected first to the Rajya Sabha in April 1998. He was re-elected to the house in 2004, 2010 and 2016. He has been a member of several parliamentary committees and even chaired some of them. Naidu filed his nomination papers. The last date for making nominations for the August 5 vice presidential elections is ending on Tuesday, July 18, according to the schedule announced by the Election Commission. Incumbent Vice President Hamid Ansari's term ends on August 10. Counting for vice presidential elections would take place on August 5.

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