New Delhi: The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee, M Venkaiah Naidu took oath as the 13th Vice President of India at 10.00 am at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here on Friday.
Naidu will also take over as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha from the outgoing vice-president Hamid Ansari.
The swearing-in ceremony was held in the Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhawan here. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former PM Manmohan Singh along with several other dignitaries are present at the Rashtrapati Bhavan to witness the oath ceremony of Naidu.
Earlier Naidu, 68, paid floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at the Rajghat. He also paid tributes to Jan Sangh leader Deendayal Upadhyaya, besides Sardar Vallabhai Patel and Babasaheb B.R. Ambedkar.
Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu, 68, who was a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee and later the Narendra Modi governments, defeated the combined opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi by a huge margin of 272 votes in a straight contest, whose verdict was already predictable.
Naidu secured 516 votes against 244 by Gandhi.
In all, 771 votes were cast out of a total of 785 MPs eligible to vote. Eleven votes were declared invalid. Of this, seven were voters backing Gandhi.
A seasoned politician, Naidu, who had his political teeth cut in the RSS and later Bharatiya Jana Sangh, had been President of the BJP.
Soon after his election, Naidu said he as Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, would steer the functioning of the House “without fear or favour” and uphold its dignity and decorum with the cooperation of all members by acting in accordance with the rules and conventions of the House.
Born in 1949 in Chavatapalem in Nellore district, Naidu acquired law degree from Andhra University College of Law Visakhapatnam. He was a “swayamsevak” in the RSS and joined ABVP during his college days. He came to the spotlight for his role in “Jai Andhra” movement of 1972 and became the convenor of the anti-corruption Jayaprakash Chhatra Samiti in 1974. He held street protests against the Emergency.
He served three terms in the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka from 1998 and was elected for his fourth term from Rajasthan last year. He was a member of the Andhra Pradesh assembly twice in the 1980s.
Naidu was Rural Development Minister in the Vajpayee government between 2000-02. In Modi’s government, first he was Parliamentary Affairs Minister as well as the Housing and Urban Development. From Parliamentary Affairs, he was shifted to Information and Broadcasting Minister which portfolio he held till he was nominated as the Vice Presidential candidate.