Will steer Rajya Sabha without fear or favour: VP-elect Naidu

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Of the total 771 votes polled, 11 were found to be invalid.

Votes marked with any other pen are liable to be rejected. Of this, seven were voters backing Gandhi.

He garnered 244 votes in the secret ballot.

Kovind, backed by the ruling Hindu nationalist right, easily won India's presidential election last month, tightening its hold on positions of power. The voting starts at 10 AM and will end up at 5 PM. The JD (U) broke ties with "mahagathbandhan" and joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form a new government in Bihar, but made a decision to vote for Gandhi.

"Thank those who voted for me".

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Former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, DMDK chief Vijayakanth, PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss were among those who extended their greetings to Naidu.

He further said Naidu will be one of the finest vice presidents and will conduct Rajya Sabha by taking everyone into confidence.

The election is between the NDA candidate M. Venkaiah Naidu and opposition nominee Gopalkrishna Gandhi.

With around support of 493 members, Naidu is all set to cross the magic figure of 394. He was up against former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, who was unanimously nominated by 18 Opposition parties.

The vice president of India is also the ex-officio chairperson of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quick to congratulate Naidu on his win. Venkaiah Naidu's victory is nearly certain to his party, the BJP, along with the other factions supporting them. "My best wishes for a fruitful & motivating tenure", Modi tweeted.

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Born in 1949 in Andhra Pradesh, Venkaiah Naidu's association with politics dates back to his student years in VR College where he holds a bachelor degree in politics. He was a "swayamsevak" in the RSS and joined ABVP during his college days.

He came to the spotlight for his role in "Jai Andhra" movement of 1972 and became the convenor of the anti-corruption Jayaprakash Chhatra Samiti in 1974. Naidu was a fire fighter for the Prime Minister, defending him on several issues.

As minister of urban development and housing and urban poverty alleviation, which was recently merged as housing and urban affairs, Mr Naidu launched the Smart City Mission, Atal Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission and Housing for All.

Fourth, Naidu has a long experience of the Upper House as he has been a fourth-term Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan.

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