Born on 1 July 1949, Naidu is a prominent leader of the BJP from Andhra Pradesh. He was born in Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh. Naidu studied politics and diplomatic studies, obtaining a bachelor’s degree from V.R College in Nellore. He later obtained a bachelor’s degree in Law from Andhra University.
Being an active student leader paved way for his political career
Venkaiah Naidu began his career as a student leader. As a student, he was associated with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the BJP. Naidu also worked as a Swayamsevak of the RSS, the BJP’s ideological parent. In 1972 Naidu played an active role in the “Jai Andhra” movement. The movement called for the creation of Andhra state citing injustices and unfair treatment of people living in these regions. Naidu also participated in the anti-emergency protests under the leadership of Jayprakash Narayan. He was even imprisoned for 7 months during this period.
A dynamic member of the BJP party
Naidu is a loyal party man and has served at various positions in the party. He was the state president of BJP in Andhra for half a decade starting in 1988 before becoming its National General Secretary in 1993. He was also a prominent party spokesperson. Aided by sound organizational skills, hard work and loyalty to the party, Naidu became the BJP’s national president in 2002.
He played a vital role in expanding BJP in south
His work as a student leader along with his oratorical abilities helped him get elected to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly as MLA. He fought and won two successive elections from Udayagiri constituency also in Nellore. He won the election in 1978 and 1983.He became an important leader of the BJP in Andhra Pradesh and was instrumental in expanding the party’s base in the southern state.
A key player for framing policies and schemes
In the NDA government led by PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Venkaiah Naidu was appointed as Rural Development minister. In his tenure, he introduced the flagship and hugely successful “Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana”.The scheme was responsible for construction and improvement of the quality of roads in rural areas.
Naidu is also actively involved in Social Work and has funded many projects for poor and orphaned children and women in his home district of Nellore.
After Narendra Modi’s victory in the 2014 election, Naidu emerged as a key member of team Modi. Naidu held the key portfolios of Urban Development, Information and Broadcasting(I&B) and Parliamentary Affairs. As Urban Development minister, he was instrumental in the launch of the ambitious “Smart Cities” project of the government. The project aims at the creation of 100 “smart cities” in India.
His journey to being the Vice President
In July 2017, he was nominated by the government as its candidate for Vice-Presidential election. He contested the election against opposition backed candidate Gopal Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson.
Venkaiah Naidu was appointed as Vice-President keeping this situation in mind. The BJP is traditionally weak in the Southern States and Naidu’s elevation is seen as a part of the BJP’s expansion in South India. He also brings considerable experience as MP and Parliamentary Affairs minister which will help him manage the functioning of the Upper House. More importantly, he is an amiable leader and enjoys good relations with leaders of parties. He also brings a clean and not controversial image to the high office of the VP.
Naidu’s rise in the party is the rise of a loyal and dedicated soldier of the party. His years of hard work and dedication to the Party were rewarded with his promotion.
A loyal party member
During the recent controversies surrounding beef and slaughter bans in UP, the image of the BJP was hit and it was seen as a “vegetarian” party. By citing his own example, Naidu being a meat lover was instrumental in correcting this image of the party. Naidu is a great orator and is known for having his unique style punctuated with witticisms, alliterations, and humor. A loyal and trusted lieutenant of PM Modi, he is credited with having coined the now popular phrase MODI means Making of Developed India.
Naidu’s love and loyalty to the party were displayed when he became emotional and even sobbed during the party meeting where he resigned the party to contest for VP election. Speaking to the media after his nomination Naidu said that “I lost my mother at a very young age of one year and six months. Then I treated my party as my mother and they have really brought me up to this level. It is very painful to leave the party…That’s why I became a little emotional.”
On being asked about his role as Vice President, Naidu said that “I am clear about the responsibility of the Vice President’s post. I will, of course, endeavor to strengthen the parliamentary democratic system and I will uphold the traditions and standards set by my worthy predecessors and the dignity of the office of Vice President.”
With Venkaiah Naidu winning the VP election, we can be sure that a very capable and experienced person will conduct the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha.