Former Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu is set to contest with former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi for the post of Vice-President of India today. Members of Parliament will use special pens for marking their choice in the election to be held between 10 AM and 5 PM.
The counting of votes will commence after polling and the results will be declared by 7:00 PM. Venkaiah Naidu appears to have an edge over Gopal Krishna Gandhi in the polls as the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has majority in the 545-member Lok Sabha.
Know all about Gopal Krishna Gandhi
Gopal Krishna Devdas Gandhi, the opposition's candidate for the Vice-Presidential elections, is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.
The weight of the surname notwithstanding, the former bureaucrat and diplomat has sought to emerge in recent times as the nation’s conscience keeper.
The retired IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre, who served as India’s high commissioner to South Africa, Lesotho and Sri Lanka and as ambassador to Norway and Iceland, has held academic and titular posts in bodies such as the Indian Institute for Advanced Study in Shimla.
More recently, he joined the privately-run Ashoka University on the outskirts of Delhi as guest faculty.
Married to Tara Gandhi and father of two daughters, he was earlier secretary to the Governor of Tamil Nadu, to the Vice President and to the President of India. Fond of Carnatic classical and popular Hindi music, the soft-spoken and mild-mannered retired bureaucrat, whose editor father Devdas was the Mahatma’s youngest son, studied at Delhi’s Modern School and graduated in English from St Stephen’s College.
Gandhi had almost emerged as the Opposition’s Presidential candidate choice but the NDA’s nomination of Ramnath Kovind, a Dalit, had forced the joint front of the Congress-led parties to field another prominent Dalit face, Meira Kumar.
He is also a prolific writer and has penned several volumes on Gandhi, a play in verse on Dara Shukoh and a Hindi translation of Vikram Seth’s - A Suitable Boy. Further, Gandhi has also been a columnist in newspapers.