Naidu becomes VP-elect, 20 opposition MPs vote in his favour
NDA vice-presidential candidate M Venkaiah Naidu romped home to a strong victory, trouncing opposition nominee Gopalkrishna Gandhi by 516 votes to 244, which places BJP nominees on the top constitutional posts of President and vice-president for the first time.
With Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha members comprising the Electoral College, Naidu was aided by an estimated 20 opposition MPs cross-voting in his favour and his margin of victory of 272 votes is the largest in the last 30 years. Though Naidu’s win was not surprising, the result exceeded expectations as the NDA was counting on 502 votes. Four members could not vote for various reasons but the former urban development and information and broadcasting minister still managed a tally of 516 votes.
In all, 771 out of 785 MPs cast votes. Votes of 11 MPs were, however, declared invalid. Fourteen MPs of different parties did not vote, including four TMC MPs, two of BJP, two each of Congress and IUML and some others, including one NCP and one PMK MP.