Venkaiah Naidu is NDA's vice presidential candidate

Union minister Venkaiah Naidu after casting his vote during the Presidential election in New Delhi on Monday

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentary board meeting to decide the candidate for the vice-president's post was held in the national capital, on Monday.

Venkaiah Naidu being offered candies by his wife at home, after he was announced as the NDA's Vice-Presidential candidate in New Delhi on Monday.

After the last cabinet shuffle, Naidu was moved to Information and Broadcasting and Urban Development and he embraced both the portfolios with enthusiasm, to the reported chagrin of his I&B deputy minister, Rajyavardhan Rathore, whose role diminished under Naidu.

Naidu has been pitted against Gopalkrishna Gandhi whose name was endorsed by all 18 Opposition parties, including the JD (U), which is backing the NDA's candidate in the presidential poll. "There were other candidates in the fray, but we have chosen him", Shah said adding that BJP's allies in the National Democratic Alliance have welcomed the nomination of Naidu.

Venkaiah Naidu has served as the BJP President between 2002 and 2004. Before giving his vote, the Prime Minister addressed the media outside the Parliament and said the upcoming Monsoon session brings "hope".

All members of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, including nominated members, form the electoral college for electing the Vice President.

The decision to field Venkaiah was taken by the BJP's highest decision-making body, the parliamentary board, which met in the Capital soon after voting for the Presidential election got over on Monday.

With the BJP looking to consolidate its base in southern part of the country, it was being speculated that the choice of the party leadership would be someone from that region.

"I have known Venkaiah Naidu for years".

Naidu's name did the rounds even before the BJP came up with Ramnath Kovind's name as its Presidential candidate. The former West Bengal Governor will file his nomination tomorrow too. Amit Shah also stated that the opposition has already announced their candidate for the elections, so there is no chance of a vice president approved by all the parties. In the 2012 polls, the incumbent Vice President Dr Hamid Ansari won with a mandate of 490 votes, with BJP's Jaswant Singh receiving the remaining 238.

With elections due in Karnataka next year, the Naidu connect may help the BJP gain a toehold, while strengthening its position otherwise.

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