Members of Parliament of both houses will vote on Saturday to elect the next Vice President of India. NDA candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar is pitted against Opposition pick Margaret Alva.
With numbers stacked in favour of the NDA, former West Bengal governor Dhankhar is set for an easy win.
Polling will be held from 10 am to 5 pm today, while the ballots will be counted immediately after that. The returning officer will announce the name of the next vice president in the evening today.
Jagdeep Dhankhar vs Margaret Alva
The 80-year-old Alva is a Congress veteran and has served as governor of Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, while the 71-year-old Dhankhar is a Jat leader from Rajasthan with socialist background.
Alva, however, received the backing of regional party Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on Friday, two days after Aam Aadmi Party and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) lent their support to the opposition candidate.
The AIMIM has also extended its support to Alva. Alva is likely to get over 200 votes, going by the support announced by parties for her candidature so far.
With the support of some regional parties like the Janta Dal (United), YSRCP, BSP, AIADMK and Shiv Sena, the NDA nominee is likely to get over 515 votes, enough for a comfortable win for him.
Cracks were visible in opposition unity as Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress decided to abstain from voting alleging lack of consultations while deciding on the name of Alva.
The Trinamool Congress, which has 23 MPs in Lok Sabha and 16 in Rajya Sabha, has decided to stay away from the vice-presidential election.
How does voting take place?
Members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, including nominated members, are eligible to vote in the vice-presidential poll. The electoral college in the vice presidential election comprises a total of 788 members of both Houses of Parliament. Since all the electors are members of both Houses of Parliament, the value of vote of each MP would be the same — one, the Election Commission has said.
The election is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote and the voting at such election is by secret ballot.
Unlike the presidential poll where voting takes place in multiple locations as elected MLAs, not nominated, also form part of the electoral college, in the vice presidential election, voting takes place in Parliament House.
The term of incumbent M Venkaiah Naidu ends on August 10. The vice president is also the chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.
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