The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidates for presidency and vice presidency are former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar and former West Bengal governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi respectively.
On his part, Panneerselvam assured his faction's support to Naidu. Ansari who served two terms, the second one a compensation for Congress leadership's failure to secure enough support for his nomination for President, was a career diplomat.
Born July 1, 1949, Naidu came joined politics in his college days only.
The president's role in India is largely ceremonial, but the position can be important during times of political uncertainty such as a hung Parliament, when the office assumes greater power.
Now that Venkaiah is moving from voice of Telugu states to the voice of Constitution of India - as he is the front-runner to be the next Vice President, Telugu-speaking people feel that it is not going to be same anymore. Regional parties like the AIADMK, TRS, INLD and others have already expressed their support to the NDA's nominee. Its painful to leave the party.
"The country has got a great leadership and we should strengthen the country through that leadership and move forward". But destiny decided otherwise. "I am not above the party". It's a new responsibility.
Mihir Swarup Sharma in a piece for NDTV writes that Venkaiah is not really a match for the NDA's three previous candidates for the post of VP, i.e. Bhairon Singh Shekhawat (2002), Najma Heptullah (2007) and Jaswant Singh (2012). "Naiduji knows Delhi as much as Vijaywada", the Prime Minister had said about him.
This will mark the return of a politician to an office which is in the table of precedence is next only to President and ranks above the PM.
He referred to his resignation from the Council of Ministers but said he would continue to be an MP till the Vice President's election.
Naidu is often known for his witty answers and alliterations. "I am at the centre".
Naidu is contesting against Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, the noinee of 18 opposition parties.