POLITICS

Vice President Election Today, Voting Underway

M Venkaiah Naidu versus Gopal Krishna Gandhi.

05/08/2017 11:57 AM IST | Updated 05/08/2017 12:05 PM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Polling to elect the next vice-president of India began at Parliament House this morning and the results would be declared this evening.

Ruling NDA's candidate M Venkaiah Naidu is tipped to be the country's next vice president.

The ruling NDA, which has a majority in the Lok Sabha, will find it easy to place its candidate in the post.

The opposition has fielded Gopal Krishna Gandhi against Naidu.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Naidu, who is a member from Rajya Sabha, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath, a Lok Sabha member, were among the first to cast their ballot.

In fact, the prime minister was standing in queue even before the voting hall was opened at 10 am.

Rajya Sabha member and boxer Mary Kom, Union minister Prakash Javadekar and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh were also seen in the queue.

The BJD and the JD(U) which had supported NDA nominee Ramnath Kovind for the post of president, have decided to back opposition nominee Gandhi.

Though the JD(U) has broken ties with the secular alliance in Bihar and joined hands with the BJP to form a new government, it has decided to vote for Gandhi, a former governor of West Bengal.

Members of Parliament will use special pens for marking their choice in the election which will conclude at 5 pm.

The counting of votes will commence after polling and the results will be declared by 7 pm, Election Commission officials said quoting precedents.

No whip can be issued by political parties as the election is through a secret ballot.

The term of the present incumbent Hamid Ansari, who has held the post for two consecutive terms, is coming to an end on August 10.

The electoral college which elects the vice president, who is also the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, consists of elected and nominated members of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.

The total strength of the two Houses is 790, but there are two vacancies in the Lok Sabha and some in the Rajya Sabha.

A BJP MP in Lok Sabha is barred from casting vote following a judicial pronouncement.

In the 545-member Lok Sabha, the BJP has 281 members. The NDA led by BJP, has 338 members.

The BJP on Thursday overtook Congress to become the largest political party in the Rajya Sabha, where it now has 58 members against 57 of the main opposition party.

In the 245-member Rajya Sabha, the BJP now is the single largest party. With its recent wins in the recent assembly polls, the BJP tally has gone up and the NDA's numbers would be close to 100.

It would, however, still be short of a majority in the upper house.

The one who bags 50 per cent plus one vote of the total valid votes cast will win the poll.

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