The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has opted to elect Venkaiah Naidu, a former union minister, as its candidate for the post of Vice President of India. This happened after the meeting on presidential elections was completed successfully on July 17. Going up against him would be Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. Incidentally, Gandhi has previously served as the Governor of West Bengal. He has been nominated by the opposition. Amit Shah, the Chief of BJP, announced Naidu’s candidature following a parliamentary board meeting that took place on July 17. Naidu filed his nomination on July 18. The election to the post of Vice President will take place in August.
Before filing his nomination, as per rules, Naidu resigned from his dual posts of Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting as well as Union Minister for Urban Development. This means that we can easily expect a major reshuffle in the union cabinet in the days to come. Along with the ministries vacated by Naidu there are also two other critical portfolios that need to be taken care of. They are Environment and Defence. Manohar Parrikar was looking after Defence but when he became the Chief Minister of Goa he left the ministry that is now being taken care of by Arun Jaitley. Former Union Environment Minister Anil Dave breathed his last during May 2017 and ever since there is no one left to take care of this department.
What does Naidu think of all this?
It is interesting to note in this regard that before being nominated as BJP’s candidate for vice presidency Naidu has always stated that he is keen to be part of active politics and is not really interested in becoming the Vice President. Incidentally, it was Amit Shah who made things happen by holding meetings with Narendra Modi, and other prominent party leaders before speaking to Naidu.
Chances of Naidu
Just like any other election, the outcome of this election will be decided on the basis of the majority of the total strength of both houses of the parliament. Since BJP has an overwhelming majority in Lok Sabha it is expected that the odds are right now in Naidu’s favour. Amit Shah has already stated that all members of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) have lent their support to Naidu. Shah has also praised Naidu as one of the senior-most members of Indian Parliament.
The role played by Naidu
According to Shah, Naidu has been in active politics since 1970 and has also played an important role during Emergency by attempting to oppose its imposition. Naidu has already played an important role in the national cabinet headed by Modi but before that he also worked for Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was the previous NDA member to have become the Prime Minister of India. If both the presidential and vice presidential candidates of BJP are indeed elected to the posts after the elections then it can be said for sure that the ruling party would have indeed further established its dominance in Indian politics.