The 18 opposition parties together named former West Bengal governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi as their candidate.
M Venkaiah Naidu is most likely to be the next vice-president of India.
The Presidential election will take place on July 17 and election to the post of Vice-President will be held on August 5.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah have, so far, kept names of the probables close to their hearts after they had consultations with the RSS, sources said. Like NDA's Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, Mr Naidu comes from a humble background. "I am happy being Usha's pati (Usha's husband)". During a meeting with Opposition leaders on Sunday, she said, "Numbers may be against us". In another instant which showed both his love for Modi and acronyms, Naidu called PM Modi the "Modifier of Developing India". A warm host, the annual lunches he organised at his residence for the media with the choicest non-vegetarian Andhra Pradesh fare were memorable. His national role began only in 1993 when he was appointed the BJP's national general secretary. Moreover, in states like Tamil Nadu, where the BJP is constantly meddling and acting behind the scenes, having a Naidu in a top ceremonial post would mean easier negotiations.
Naidu was never a member of Lok Sabha.
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As per the number of contesting candidates, the voters can mark as many preferences against the names of the candidates as they want. He was re-elected in 2004, 2010 and 2016. He represented Karnataka in the Upper House for three terms, and now represents Rajasthan. His extensive experience in the Rajya Sabha makes him a suitable pick for the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
He was elected as an MLA to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly twice from Udayagiri constituency in Nellore district in 1978 and 1983. Announcing his candidature, Shah heaped praise on the Andhra Pradesh leader, who is known for his witty rhymes and has often voiced the government's and the party's stand on key issues while taking on the opposition.
Naidu is also a two-time BJP national party president, the first time between July-December in 2002 and the second time between January-December in 2004. Mr Modi said, the years of Parliamentary experience Mr Naidu has, will help him discharge the important role of Rajya Sabha Chairperson.
He said he has always admired the hardwork and tenacity of Naidu, now a minister in his Cabinet holding the portfolios of Information and Broadcasting and Urban Development.
Another element in Venkaiah Naidu's crossover appeal in the BJP is his fluency in Hindi. The 68-year-old had himself denied being the potential candidate for the vice presidential post in the past month.
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