BJP Attempts Regional Balance With Venkaiah Naidu As Vice Presidential Candidate

BJP Attempts Regional Balance With Venkaiah Naidu As Vice Presidential Candidate

BJP did not spring a surprise in announcing its candidate for the post of Vice President (VP). The name of senior BJP leader Venkaiah  Naidu had been doing the rounds for past few months and he had emerged as the frontrunner in the run-up to the announcement by party president Amit Shah following the meeting of the Parliamentary Board.

Jokes of ‘Usha-pati’ may finally become ‘uprashtrapati’ (Vice President) were heard in Parliament House today when voting for the post of President was on. This was in reference to Naidu’s characteristic wordplay when two months ago he was asked about the possibility of him being nominated for the post of President or Vice President by the party. He had quipped, “I neither want to be ‘Rashtrapati’ nor ‘uprashtrapati’. I am happy being Usha’s pati (husband),” referring to his wife.

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Naidu may have appeared reluctant but Shah said, when questioned, “Naidu is a party soldier and agreed to take up the responsibility given to him.” It was clear, like in the case of Presidential nominee, that the VP candidate too will be a trusted party functionary. A swyamsevak from college days, where he was also active also in Sangh’s student wing ABVP, Naidu has been the general secretary and also the President of the BJP (2002-04).

As soon as Shah officially announced Naidu for VP, prime minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he had always admired his tenacity. Four-time Rajya Sabha MP, he was heading two important ministries in Modi government – rural development and Information and Broadcasting.

By setting up Naidu versus Rajmohan Gandhi contest for the post of VP, BJP has reiterated its desire to push beyond the Vindhyas and expand the party’s footprints in Southern states.

BJP leaders told Outlook that having chosen Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit from Uttar Pradesh, it was felt that VP from South will balance the regional factor. Also, by having a trusted party person as VP, and thus Chairman of Rajya Sabha, BJP feels that it may find going a bit easier since it does not have a majority in Upper House yet. 

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With Naidu moving out of the Cabinet, the stage also appears to be set for a significant reshuffle after the President and VP’s polls. Naidu was handling two ministries. Arun Jaitley is handling two major ministries – finance and defence. Dr Harshvardhan too is handling two ministries including Environment. Sources say that a reshuffle is imminent.

BJP did not spring a surprise in announcing its candidate for the post of Vice President (VP). The name of senior BJP leader Venkaiah  Naidu  had been doing the rounds for past few months and he had emerged as the frontrunner in the run-up to the announcement by party president Amit Shah following the meeting of the Parliamentary Board.

Jokes of ‘Usha-pati’ may finally become ‘uprashtrapati’ (Vice President) were heard in Parliament House today when voting for the post of President was on. This was in reference to Naidu’s characteristic wordplay when two months ago he was asked about the possibility of him being nominated for the post of President or Vice President by the party. He had quipped, “I neither want to be ‘Rashtrapati’ nor ‘uprashtrapati’. I am happy being Usha’s pati (husband),” referring to his wife.

Advertisement opens in new window

Naidu may have appeared reluctant but Shah said, when questioned, “Naidu is a party soldier and agreed to take up the responsibility given to him.” It was clear, like in the case of Presidential nominee, that the VP candidate too will be a trusted party functionary. A swyamsevak from college days, where he was also active also in Sangh’s student wing ABVP, Naidu has been the general secretary and also the President of the BJP (2002-04).

As soon as Shah officially announced Naidu for VP, prime minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he had always admired his tenacity. Four-time Rajya Sabha MP, he was heading two important ministries in Modi government – rural development and Information and Broadcasting.

By setting up Naidu versus Rajmohan Gandhi contest for the post of VP, BJP has reiterated its desire to push beyond the Vindhyas and expand the party’s footprints in Southern states. BJP leaders told Outlook that having chosen Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit from Uttar Pradesh, it was felt that VP from South will balance the regional factor. Also, by having a trusted party person as VP, and thus Chairman of Rajya Sabha, BJP feels that it may find going a bit easier since it does not have a majority in Upper House yet.

Advertisement opens in new window

With Naidu moving out of the Cabinet, the stage also appears to be set for a significant reshuffle after the President and VP’s polls. Naidu was handling two ministries. Arun Jaitley is handling two major ministries – finance and defence. Dr Harshvardhan too is handling two ministries including Environment. Sources say that a reshuffle is imminent.

Next Story : Here's All You Need To Know About NDA's Vice Presidential Candidate Venkaiah Naidu
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