The ruling NDA’s vice presidential candidate is likely to be announced on Monday when the BJP parliamentary board will meet to pick a challenger for opposition’s choice Gopalkrishna Gandhi. Four prominent names have emerged in the NDA’s list of probable candidates. These include union minister Venkaiah Naidu, Manipur governor Najma Heptulla, Maharashtra governor C Vidyasagar Rao and Kerala governor P Sathasivam. After the Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind was chosen by the NDA for the presidential election, the BJP camp was abuzz with selection critera for the vice presidential. There were indications that the BJP might go in for a South Indian to be vice president, since Kovind belongs to Uttar Pradesh. Union minister Venkaiah Naidu is the tallest BJP leader from South India. He has been parliamentary affairs minister and enjoys a good rapport with all political parties. Najma Heptulla has been vice chairperson of Rajya Sabha, a qualification that makes her a suitable candidate to become vice president. For the ruling alliance, the lack of numbers in the Upper House is a critical deficiency in pushing through bills. Since the vice president is also chairperson of Rajya Sabha, it becomes a crucial position. Maharashtra governor C Vidyasagar Rao has been one of the key BJP leaders from Telangana. He was also Union minister of state for home affairs in the Atal Behari Vajpayee government. The Kerala governor and former chief justice Supreme Court, P Sathasivam, is also said to be in the race. Belonging to Tamil Nadu, Sathasivam was appointed governor of Kerala by the Modi government. But his appointment had generated controversy, as many felt that it undermined the stature of the office of the chief justice of India. An alliance of 18 opposition parties had announced Gopalkrisna Gandhi as its candidate for the vice presidential poll. The election will be held on August 5 and counting will take place on the same day. The Electoral College for the vice presidential election consists of 790 MPs of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The opposition had hoped that the BJP will evolve a consensus for the presidential candidate, but it did not happen. The opposition then unilaterally announced its nominee.