Former Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday took oath as the 13th vice president of India. He was sworn in in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, several Union ministers as well as Opposition leaders.

He replaces Hamid Ansari as the chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

“Venkaiah ji knows the working of the Rajya Sabha very well, having been in the House for so long,” Modi said in Parliament after the swearing-in ceremony. “He understands farmer, the farming process and their troubles well. He will lead Indian polity to greater heights.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance candidate had won the vice-presidential poll on August 5 with more than two-third of the votes. Modi had said he was confident Naidu will “serve the nation as a diligent and dedicated vice president, committed to the goal of nation building”.

Naidu has served as the minister of information and broadcasting, urban development as well as housing and urban poverty alleviation. He had resigned from the Union Cabinet and the BJP before filing his nomination papers for the vice-presidential election.