Sat, 06 Aug 2022 07:24 AM IST
Members of Parliament of both houses will vote on Saturday to elect the next Vice President of India in an election where 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.
Cracks were visible in opposition unity as Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress decided to abstain from voting alleging a lack of consultations while deciding on the name of 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 a 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.
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. Alva is likely to get over 200 votes, going by the support announced by parties for her candidature so far.
Dhankhar, on the other hand, met a number of BJP MPs at his residence on Friday. These include Sushil Kumar Modi, Gautam Gambhir, Rajyavardhan Rathore, Rajendra Agrawal, Pradeep Choudhary and Kartikeya Sharma, among others. He has been meeting party MPs while seeking their support for the poll.
While polling will be held from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday, the ballots will be counted immediately after that. By late Saturday evening, the returning officer will announce the name of the next vice president. Members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, including nominated members, are eligible to vote in the vice presidential poll.
The term of incumbent M Venkaiah Naidu ends on August 10. The vice president is also the chairperson of the Rajya Sabha. 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 the 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.
There is no concept of open voting in this election and showing the ballot to anyone under any circumstances in the case of presidential and vice-presidential elections is totally prohibited, the EC has cautioned, adding that parties cannot issue whips to its MPs in the matter of voting.
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.
(With Agency Inputs)