New Delhi: Ruling NDA’s candidate M. Venkaiah Naidu is tipped to be India’s next vice president as members of Parliament gear up to cast their ballot on Saturday.
The name of the next vice president of India will be known today evening after members of Parliament cast their ballot during the day in Parliament House.
The ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which has a majority in the Lok Sabha, will find it easy to place its candidate as the next vice president. The opposition has fielded Gopal Krishna Gandhi against Naidu.
The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Janata Dal (United) 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 ‘mahagathbandhan’ and joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form a new government in Bihar, 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 to be held between 10am and 5pm.
The counting of votes will commence after polling and the results will be declared by 7pm, 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 10 August. 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 one in the Rajya Sabha. BJP MP in Lok Sabha Chhedi Paswan 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.
In the 243-member Rajya Sabha, the BJP as of now has 56 members, while the Congress with 59 is the single largest party.
With its recent wins in the recent assembly polls, the BJP is set to emerge as the single largest party in the Rajya Sabha too next year and the NDA’s tally would be close to 100. It would, however, still be short of a majority in the upper house. The one who bags 50% plus one vote of the total valid votes cast will win the poll.