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    M Venkaiah Naidu Is India's Next Vice President
    New Delhi:  M Venkaiah Naidu, the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance candidate, will be India's 13th Vice President. He received 516 votes defeating the opposition candidate former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi who got 244 votes. For someone who came from a family of an ordinary farmer, 68-year-old former minister said his election "speaks for the beauty and strength of our democracy". Mr Naidu also promised "to uphold the Constitution and the high standards set by my esteemed predecessors". Here are 10 updates on Vice Presidential Election 2017: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was among the first to cast their votes in Parliament, congratulated Mr Naidu on the big win. "I am confident M Venkaiah Naidu will serve the nation as a diligent and dedicated Vice President, committed to the goal of nation building," he tweeted. "This is a victory of the ballot, and also of free speech. The second victory belongs to all of India," the 72-year-old opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi said. In his new role as Vice President, M Venkaiah Naidu will also be presiding officer of the Rajya Sabha where the ruling alliance does not have a majority. Congress president Sonia Gandhi stressed on this part of his job in her congratulatory message. "The position of vice president has the crucial challenge of assuming a non-partisan role in running 'The House of Elders'," she said. Of the 771 votes polled today, 760 were valid and 11 invalid. 14 lawmakers were absent from voting. Both the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance and the Congress-led opposition parties have claimed that their respective candidates had received more votes than expected. BJP sources said 20 lawmakers from the opposition camp had voted for Mr Naidu, No whip could be issued by political parties as the election is through a secret ballot and BJP leaders estimate that nearly 20 lawmakers from opposition parties may have voted their candidate. The Electoral College which elects the Vice President, who is also the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, consists of elected and nominated members of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. The total strength of the two Houses is 790, but there are two vacancies in the Lok Sabha and one in the Rajya Sabha. BJP MP in Lok Sabha Chhedi Paswan is barred from casting vote following a judicial pronouncement. In the 2007 vice presidential poll, incumbent Hamid Ansari had received 456 votes, Najma Heptullah 222 votes and Rashid Masood 75. In the 2012 polls, Mr Ansari had bagged 490 and the NDA nominee Jaswant Singh 238 votes.


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