Former Union minister Venkaiah Naidu was sworn in as the 13th Vice-President of India on 11 August 2017. The 68-year-old was administered oath of office by newly-elected President Ram Nath Kovind at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan. Naidu, who contested the election against Opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi, had secure 516 votes against the latter’s 244. Naidu was sworn in in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former PM Manmohan Singh.
After being sworn in, Naidu was greeted with a warm welcome in the Rajya Sabha. While welcoming him, PM Modi said he has come to hold the high office due to his long experience in Parliament. The Vice-President also serves as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
On 10 August 2017, ahead of his swearing-in, Naidu had challenged the views expressed by his predecessor Hamid Ansari, who had claimed Muslims are experiencing “a sense of uneasiness and insecurity” in India. Opining that India is the “most tolerant country”, he had said, “Compared to the entire world, minorities are more safe and secure in India and they get their due. Indian ethos is of mutual respect for each other. People try to use minority issues for political purposes