Venkaiah Naidu profile: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Venkaiah Naidu has been announced as the ruling NDA candidate for the upcoming vice-presidential election 2017, which is scheduled to be held on August 5. Naidu’s name comes as a surprise for many as he was the incumbent minister for Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and Parliamentary Affairs and was an active participant in party’s key decisions. Naidu, who has always been at the forefront of all issues BJP raised, brings with him a great experience and a political career full of achievements. In some of his key roles, Naidu has served as National President, BJP (2002-2004), Union Minister of Rural Development (2000-2002), and Union Minister for Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and Parliamentary Affairs (incumbent). Born July 1, 1949, Naidu came joined politics in his college days only. Naidu pursued his Bachelor’s degree in law with specialisation in international law from Andhra University College of Law, Visakhapatnam. An active member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Naidu joined ABVP during his college days. He first hogged limelight during his 1972 Jai Andhra movement. He quickly rose to the ranks of President, Students’ Union, V.R. College, Nellore in 1971.
Both as a student leader and political figure, Naidu was popular for his brilliant oratory skills. In his initial days in politics, Naidu championed the cause of the farmers and the development of backward areas. Thanks to his activism and oratory skills, Naidu went on to become one of the most popular BJP leaders in Andhra Pradesh. His oratory skills and political activism propelled his political career and Naidu was first elected as an MLA to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly twice from Udayagiri constituency in Nellore district in 1978. He again served as an MLA in 1983.
In 1999, Venkaiah served as the Union Cabinet Minister for Rural development in Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Naidu won accolades for aggressively pushing for reforms in Rural development and for the many schemes introduced during this period such as the ‘Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.’
Naidu, a flamboyant speaker, rose to the ranks of National President, Bharatiya Janata Party, in the year 2002. In 2004, he was re-elected unopposed for a full 3-year term. Naidu vacated his President seat for Lal Krishna Advani, who took over as party president in 2004. However, Naidu remained at the forefront of the BJP as one of its senior vice-presidents and an important campaigner. As Bharatiya Janata Party came back to power riding high on Narendra Modi wave, Naidu was again sworn-in as the Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs on 26 May 2014.
Below is detailed account of portfolios held by Venkaiah Naidu:
1971 President, Students’ Union, V.R. College, Nellore
1973-74 President, Students Union, Andhra University Colleges
1974 Convener, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Kshatra Sangharsh Samiti of Andhra Pradesh
1977-80 President, Youth Wing of Janata Party, Andhra Pradesh
1978-83 & 1983-85 Member, Legislative Assembly, Andhra Pradesh
1980-83 Vice-President, Youth Wing of All India B.J.P.
1980-85 Leader, B.J.P. Legislature Party in Andhra Pradesh
1985-88 General Secretary, Andhra Pradesh State B.J.P.
1988-93 President, Andhra Pradesh State Unit of B.J.P.
1993 -2000 General Secretary, All India B.J.P.
1996 – 2000 Secretary (i) BJP Parliamentary Board, & (ii) BJP CentralElection Committee, and (iii) Spokesperson, BJP
April 1998 Elected to Rajya Sabha from Karnataka (1st term)
1998 – 99 Member, Committee on Home Affairs and Member, Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Agriculture
1998 – 2001 & 2005 – 2013 Member, Tobacco Board
1999 – 2000 Member, Committee on Finance
Jan 2000 Member, Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Rural Development
2000 (Sept) -2002 (June) Minister of Rural Development, Government of India
2002 (July) – 2004 (Oct) National President, B.J.P.
2004 (Jan) – 2004 (Feb) Member, Committee on External Affairs
June 2004 Re-elected to Rajya Sabha from Karnataka (2nd term)
2004 – 06 Member, Standing Committee on Finance
2005 Member, Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
2006 – 2008 Chairman, Committee on Petitions (Rajya Sabha)
2006 onwards Member, (i) BJP Parliamentary Board, and (ii) BJP Central Election Committee
2008 – 2014 Chairman, Committee on Home Affairs (Rajya Sabha)
June 2010 Re-elected to Rajya Sabha in June, 2010 from Karnataka (3rd term)
2011 (Dec) – 2014 (May) Parliamentary Forum on Disaster Management
26 May 2014 onwards Minister for Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and Parliamentary Affairs.
June, 2016 Re-elected to Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan (4th term)