Naidu takes oath as India’s 13th Vice President

M Venkaiah Naidu (center)

New Delhi: M Venkaiah Naidu, 68, who was elected as India’s 13th Vice President took oath on Friday.

Naidu had defeated former West Bengal Governor and Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the opposition candidate. Out of 760 valid votes, he secured 516 votes while Opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi secured 244 votes.

Naidu is a two-time Union minister and four-time Rajya Sabha member. Before he was NDA’s Vice Presidential candidate he held the portfolios of Parliamentary Affairs, Information and Broadcasting and Urban Development.

On winning the vice-presidential poll Naidu said, “India stands for: Integrated National Development Impacting All Indians, equally well. This is the mission for India.”

He will succeed Hamid Ansari who finished his decade-long tenure as Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman yesterday.

“India is the most tolerant country in the world. Indian ethos is of mutual respect for each other. People try to use minority issues for political purposes” he said while talking to media.

His remarks come a day after outgoing Vice President Hamid Ansari’s statement over unease among Muslims in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony was held at Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhawan. Naidu paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat.

The oath of office was administered to Naidu by President Ram Nath Kovind. The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, MPs from all political parties, former President Pranab Mukherjee and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

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