New Delhi, Aug 5 : Opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi congratulated his NDA rival nominee M. Venkaiah Naidu who was elected India’s new Vice President on Saturday.
“I congratulate him on his victory and wish him all the best in his new office of Vice President of all the sections of India,” he said, but noted that the number of votes he got was beyond certain calculations.
Thanking the MPs who had voted for him, he said: “I believe the number that has voted for me is beyond the expectations of certain calculations. I thank all of them very deeply and sincerely. They represent different political persuasions, they come from different parts of India.
“And they had come together to vote for what they thought was the national good, which is affirmation of the right to free thought, to free speech, the right to hold a different opinion and the duty to serve cause of pluralism and secularism in India,” he said.
Gandhi also expressed his gratitude to political parties and their leaders who nominated and supported him.
He said the MPs have a great responsibility and hoped they discharge it in the tradition of great parliamentarians.
“Finally, I will like to say to all MPs across the party divide, across the divide of this vote, I would like to say all of them – honourable ladies and gentlemen, you carry a great responsibility and a great weight on your shoulders. And may you discharge your responsibilities in the tradition of the great parliamentarians of our country (with) diligence and courag”,” he said.
Gandhi said the word of conscience and the word of constitution should be treated as the guide.
He said there were two big victories from the contest – one of Naidu, another of free speech.
“In the end, I would like to say that in this election there have been two big victories. First the clear victory of Venkaiah Naidu Garu, who has got majority and who will be our next VicePresident, and the second victory is of the awareness in the country, its curiosity due to which free thinking and free speech has stayed safe. This is victory of the ballot, this is also victory of free speech.”
Gandhi, who was candidate of Congress and some major opposition parties, got 244 votes compared to 516 received by Naidu.