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Vice president poll: BJP parliamentary board to decide NDA candidate today

LiveMint logoLiveMint 17-07-2017 PTI

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentary board will meet in New Delhi Monday evening to pick the ruling National Democratic Alliance’s vice presidential candidate.

The meeting is expected after the voting for the presidential poll ends. There is speculation that the saffron party may pick a candidate from a region where it has been traditionally weak so as to send out a positive message.

BJP chief Amit Shah has identified states like Kerala, Telangana and West Bengal as the new growth region for the party. As was the case with its presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit seen as a surprise pick, the party might go for a face that will help it politically.

Names of Union minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, Maharashtra governor C. Vidyasagar Rao and O. Rajagopal are being mentioned as probables.

An alliance of 18 opposition parties, including the Congress, has already announced Gopalkrishna Gandhi as its candidate for vice presidential poll scheduled for 5 August. 18 July is the last date for filing of nominations.

The electoral college for the election consists of 790 MPs of the two chambers of Parliament. The ruling bloc enjoys an overwhelming majority in the electoral college and BJP has expressed confidence about garnering anywhere between 500 and 550 votes.

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