Both National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and Opposition candidates, Venkaiah Naidu and Gopalkrishna Gandhi filed their nomination papers for the upcoming Vice Presidential election on Tuesday.
Resigning from his portfolio as Union minister of Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty, Naidu was flanked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and other senior NDA leaders, in what was nothing less than a show of strength by the saffron party.
Meanwhile, later Naidu’s Opposition candidate Gopalkrishan Gandhi also entered the race to become India’s next Vice-President officially by filing his nomination paper.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Yadav, Rahul Gandhi was among the leaders present as Gopalkrishan Gandhi filed his nomination.
Earlier in the day, the government announced that Minister for Textiles Smriti Irani will be taking an additional charge of Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
Cenrrte also announced that NS Tomar will be taking up the Urban Development Ministry in the wake of Naidu running for Vice President election.
Taking to the Twitter handle, PM Modi said, “M. Venkaiah Naidu has resigned from his ministerial responsibilities. The additional charge of the Ministry of I&B has been given to Smriti Irani.”
The Vice President poll is scheduled to take place on 5th August and today marks the last day for filing nomination papers for the top post.
A total of 790 MPs of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha combined will constitute the Electoral College for the Vice President selection.
Gopal Krishna Gandhi has been backed by the Congress for the post, but his chances of defeating Naidu is less favoured as NDA holds a clear majority in the Lok Sabha.