No decision on NDA vice presidential candidate yet

Joint opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi. PTI file

Union minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, a veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from Andhra Pradesh, will be NDA's vice presidential candidate, party president Amit Shah said on Monday. He has also served as High commissioner to South Africa and Sri Lanka, representing India and as a secretary to President of India. Kovind's win against opposition candidate Meira Kumar is a foregone conclusion as the ruling coalition has secured the support of almost two-thirds of the electoral college, with some political parties even outside the NDA fold throwing in their weight behind him.

Parliamentary Board will meet on Monday evening to pick its vice presidential candidate.

Introducing the opposition's candidates for President and Vice-president Meira Kumar and Gopalkrishna Gandhi respectively, Congress chief said we can not and must not let India be hostage to those who wish to impose upon it a narrow-minded, divisive and communal vision. "Whatever the parliamentary board decides will be final", Naidu told media here.

According to the sources, the ruling alliance has "almost finalised" the name of Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu for the top jop.

"I'm not aspiring to become anything, party finally decides about the candidature", he added. The NDA is yet to name its candidate for the post of vice president.

Meanwhile, tThe election to choose Indias 14th President saw nearly 100 per cent voting on Monday with Lok Sabha Secretary and Returning Officer Anoop Mishra terming it "probably the highest turnout ever".

With the numbers clearly pitched in the government's favour, Naidu is likely to be the next vice-president of the country, after Hamid Ansari, who served two terms that get over next month.

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