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Of records and key numbers: A look at the Venkaiah Naidu show in VP election

The voting for the election that crowned M Venkaiah Naidu saw the highest ever votes polled for vice presidential election so far, but the biggest victory margin ever was in 1974

india Updated: Aug 06, 2017 10:40 IST
New Delhi
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Vice President elect M Venkaiah Naidu at Parliament House in New Delhi on Saturday after casting his vote. (Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)

National Democratic Alliance nominee M Venkaiah Naidu’s election as the new vice president of India shattered two records. The 771 votes polled by Naidu were the highest so far for the constitutional post, and his victory margin was more than the votes polled by combined opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi.

Naidu, the former Union urban development minister and a senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader, secured 516 votes, while Gandhi got 244.

The Vice President of India is chosen by an electoral college of members from both houses of parliament, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The lower house’s 545 members along with the upper house’s 245 make a total of 790 votes.

According to IANS, which quoted unnamed sources, Saturday’s VP election saw the highest number of votes cast, surpassing the 759 in 2002 when Bhairon Singh Shekhawat won as the NDA nominee.

Naidu’s victory margin of 272 is the highest in the last three decades, and is more than the 244 votes polled by Gopalkrishna Gandhi.

In terms of total votes polled for a single, non-consensus candidate, Naidu’s 516 is second only to BD Jatti’s 521 votes. Jatti won the 1974 election, defeating his opponent NE Horo 141, according to PTI which quoted the EC backgrounder on vice-presidential elections.

There have been instances when candidates have secured more votes than Naidu and Jatti, but those were times when all major parties agreed on the nominee.

Celebrated diplomat KR Narayanan won 700 of the 701 votes cast in the VP elections in 1992. Narayanan went on to become India’s first Dalit president after his VP term.

Shankar Dayal Sharma was the other unopposed candidate, winning the VP election in 1987. Statistics about that election were not immediately available.

In the 1997 election, Krishna Kant won by a margin of 168 votes and Shekhawat by 149 in the subsequent election.

Outgoing vice president Hamid Ansari’s victory margins were 233 and 252 in two successive elections, the first being a triangular contest.

Of the total 790 votes in the vice president’s election, there are two vacancies each in the Lok Sabha (due to the death of Vinod Khanna and countermanding of the election to Anantnag) and in the Rajya Sabha (on account of the resignation of Mayawati and the death of P. Govardhan Reddy).

Of the remaining 786 voters, 771 exercised their franchise. Naidu got 67% of the votes polled (516). While 11 votes were declared invalid, 15 MPs did not vote -- four of Trinamool Congress, three of the Bharatiya Janata Party, two each of the Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League, one each of the Nationalist Congress Party and PMK, one nominated member, and one Independent member of the Lok Sabha.

First Published: Aug 06, 2017 10:39 IST