BJP Parliamentary Board on Monday unanimously chose Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu as the NDA's candidate for the Vice-presidential polls that are scheduled to take place next month. All NDA allies have welcomed this decision.
The 68-year-old was handling the portfolios of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Information and Broadcasting in the BJP led government. Following the announcement he resigned from the Union ministry to run for the vice president's post.
Born in Chavatapalem in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh on July 1, 1949, Naidu is one of the experienced members of the cabinet and is said to have a keen interest in farmer issues.
At the age of 10, Naidu was attracted towards the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He joined ABVP in 1973 as a student leader. He was later elected as the student president of the Andhra University Colleges.
Naidu emerged as a leader during the Jai Andhra movement in 1972, leading the agitation. He also actively participated in the movement against the emergency in 1975 for which he was imprisoned. Naidu also became the President of the Youth Wing of Janata Party in Andhra Pradesh from 1977 to 1980.
From an announcer in Atal Bihari Vajpayee's programme in 1963 to an MLA to a spokesperson, MP, party general secretary to BJP's national president, Naidu has held various position with high respect.
Naidu was elected as an MLA to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly for two consecutive times. He was also the President of Andhra Pradesh State Unit of BJP from 1988 to 1993.
He was appointed as the General Secretary of All India BJP from 1993 to September 2000. In April 1988, he was elected as the Member of Rajya Sabha from Karnataka. He was also BJP's spokesperson from 1996 to 2000.
Besides, he was a member of committees that covered subjects like home affairs, agriculture, finance, rural development, external affairs.
Naidu was elected as the Union Cabinet Minister for Rural Development in 1999, under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet. Later he became the National President of BJP in 2002. He was selected for a second term in 2004 but resigned after BJP's loss in the 2004 general elections. He was re-elected to Rajya Sabha again from Karnataka in 2004 and 2010.
In 2006, Venkaiah Naidu became a member of the Parliamentary Board of BJP and Central Election Committee. In 2016, he was elected for the fourth term in Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan.
Venkaiah Naidu is known for his oratory skills in the political circles and has maintained a good relationship with the opposition parties too.
Venkaiah Naidu as the BJP leader had supported the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014. As a Union Minister over last three years, he has been representing the interests of both Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
If elected, Naidu will join the distinguished list that includes Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and V. V. Giri, becoming third Telugu person to occupy the key constitutional post.
With years of experience, Naidu has a clear edge over Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Opposition's Vice-President candidate.