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Vice-Presidential Election 2017: NDA plays it smart by selecting Venkaiah Naidu
With the naming of Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, the wait for ruling NDA's Vice-Presidential candidate is finally over. Naidu's name was finalised by the NDA on Monday, July 17 2017 for this prestigious Constitutional post.

The decision was taken in the BJP's parliamentary meeting which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party's National President Amit Shah among other top leaders and members of the board.

Modi said, "A farmer's son, Venkaiah Naidu brings years of experience in public life and is admired across the political spectrum."

However, the Congress and some other opposition parties have already declared Mahatma Gandhi's grandson and former West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi as their Vice-Presidential candidate.

The BJP had been considering names of candidates for the post of Vice-President since last two weeks. In a smart political move, Amit Shah had met RSS General Secretary Suresh Bhaiyaji Joshi last week to discuss about the probable names for NDA'sVice-Presidential candidate. Shah also met top leaders of NDA's partner allies and after that the stage was set for the announcement of Naidu's name.

But questions are being raised as to why Naidu has been picked for the post of Vice-President?

Apparently, the main objective that can be assessed behind naming Naidu is BJP's political ambition of strengthening its roots as well as boosting the party's electoral strategies in the southern Indian states where the BJP has not been in power since a long time. The party which is under political exile in almost the entire ofsouthern India has launched what can be calledits 'Mission South'in order to expand its base.

BJP would ideally like to discard its image of a North-India only party and regarding this, it has identified Andhra Pradesh, where it is in a ruling alliance with Chandrababu Naidu's TDP, and the TRS-ruled Telangana as target areas to win seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. BJP will also be expecting support from Sasikala and Paneerselvam's factionsof the AIADMK over the candidature of Naidu.

NDA could have also taken this decision keeping view of the Rajya Sabha where NDA's numbers are lesser than the UPA. For the purpose of selecting an experienced candidate who can run the Upper House more effectively, Naidu was probably named as the Vice-Presidential candidate by the NDA.

In his tweet, the PM Modi wrote: "The years of parliamentary experience Venkaiah Naidu has will help him discharge the important role of Rajya Sabha Chairperson."

Amit Shah said, "He is a disciplined party cadre and accepted the decision happily."

Overall, it seems to be the right decision in view of BJP's political aspirations.The party hopes topose a strong challenge to UPA's Vice-Presidential candidate Gopal Krishan Gandhi in the upcoming election for the next Vice-President of India.

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