One of the most prominent names in Indian politics, Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu, was elected the nation’s 13th Vice-President of India late on Saturday.
Naidu has always been hailed as one of the most diligent and powerful politicians from Andhra Pradesh. An active member of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), Naidu has been a prominent name since his foray into politics in 1973-74 as the president of the student’s union of Andhra Pradesh University.
The 68-year-old Naidu defeated opposition nominee, West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi, 516 votes to 244 votes. So here are 13 interesting facts about the 13th Vice-President of India that you might not have known.
1. M. Venkaiah Naidu’s foray into politics was during his college days in 1971.
He became an active part of the ‘Sangh’ parivaar by joining the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) that year. Two years later, he was sworn in as the University Union President of Andhra University.
2. At a time when there are hardly any advocates of making Hindi as India’s national language in South India, Naidu has been championing the same for years.
In fact, he had addressed numerous party meetings in Andhra Pradesh in Hindi, which is indeed a rarity.
3. Venkaiah Naidu’s venture into politics was triggered by his zeal to work for the downtrodden and the needy.
He was a social worker in his youth, who, after graduation, pursued law from the Andhra Pradesh University, Vishakhapatnam.
4. It won’t be wrong to say that it was the famous “Jai Andhra Movement” of 1972 that prompted the current Vice-President elect to join politics.
And the rest is history.
5. Naidu was imprisoned during the Emergency.
Naidu even took to the streets to protest against the infamous Emergency called by then prime minister Indira Gandhi. He was imprisoned and then had to go underground for two years between 1975-77.
6. Naidu is known for his oratory skills, which, according to many, is one of the main reasons behind his roaring popularity.
This quality of his his won him loads of accolades, including becoming the National President of BJP in 2002.
7. However, his tenure as the national president ended abruptly when BJP lost the 2004 Lok Sabha elections.
He was then succeeded by Lal Krishna Advani.
8. Naidu was the second politician from Andhra Pradesh and third from South India to have sworn in as the party president of BJP.
He was preceded by K Jana Krishnamurthy from Tamil Nadu and Bangaru Laxman from Andhra as the national chief of the party.
9. Born in Nellore in 1949, M. Venkaiah Naidu is the third from Andhra Pradesh to be elected Vice-President of India.
The other two are V.V. Giri and S. Radhakrishnan.
10. He has been elected as a member of Rajya Sabha four times – thrice from Andhra Pradesh and once from Rajasthan.
11. He has been elected in the union ministry twice – once under former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and once under the current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
During his first stint, he was elected as the Rural Development Minister. In his second stint under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he had been the Parliamentary Affairs, Information and Broadcasting, and Urban Development Minister.
12. He has formed a trust called the ‘Swarna Bharat Trust’ – a social service organization that works for the development of the downtrodden and poor.
This trust has been formed in Nellore. From providing education to the poor children to imparting vocational training to the women and youth, the trust does it all.
13. Venkaiah Naidu hails from an agricultural background.
During his stint as the Rural Development Minister, he worked towards the benefit of farmers from all over India. In fact, the famous ‘Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana’ has been one of the many initiatives introduced during his tenure.
Congratulations to M. Venkaiah Naidu on being elected as 13th Vice-President of India.