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Presidential election: NDA picks Venkaiah Naidu against Opposition's Gopalkrishna Gandhi

Why'veep Venkaiah Naidu must stay away from his Maa

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.

"I don't think it is correct for our party to attend the meeting".

With Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal-United supporting NDA's candidate Ram Nath Kovind in the presidential election, Meira Kumar has the support of other 17 non-NDA parties.

Party sources said Naidu will be suitable as he will have the additional responsibility to run the Rajya Sabha as chairman of the house of elders. Mr Naidu has also been Cabinet Minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Government. "Whatever Parliamentary Board decides is final", the Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs who also holds the charge of Information & Broadcasting Ministry, said. The names of Naidu and Maharashtra governor Vidyasagar Rao have been doing the rounds as probables to be the next vice-president.

An alliance of 18 opposition parties, including the Congress, has already announced Gopalkrishna Gandhi as its candidate for vice presidential poll scheduled for August 5. His oratory skills and political activism propelled his political career and he was elected as an MLA to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly twice from Udayagiri constituency in Nellore district in 1978 and 1983.

Naidu's victory seems to be a foregone conclusion as he has a clear lead over Opposition nominee Gopal Krishna Gandhi in an electoral college consisting of 790 parliamentarians.

He has been national president of the saffron party, and has also served as a Member of Parliament multiple times.