Born in 1949 in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu has a Bachelor's degree in Law from Law College, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam. Having been associated with the RSS from his childhood, Naidu began his career in politics as a student leader of ABVP in 1973-74.
After participating in anti-Emergency struggle, Naidu became the President of the Youth Wing of the Janata Party from 1977-1980. He was elected as an MLA to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly twice from Udayagiri constituency in Nellore district in 1978 and 1983. He rose to become one of the most popular leaders of the BJP in Andhra Pradesh.
After the NDA victory in the 1999 General Elections, Naidu became the Union Cabinet Minister for Rural Development in the Atal Bihari Vajpaye government.
He succeeded Jana Krishnamurthy as the National President of the BJP in 2002. After the defeat of the BJP-led NDA in the 2004 General Elections, Naidu resigned from his post on October 18, 2004, but remained in the forefront of the BJP as one of its senior vice-presidents and an important campaigner.