New Delhi: Days after getting the new President, the country is all set to witness the election of the 15th Vice President of India, scheduled to be held on Saturday. The result will be announced on the same day.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has fielded former union minister M Venkaiah Naidu as its candidate for the post, while Opposition’s nominee is former governor of West Bengal Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
The new Vice President, when elected, will replace Hamid Ansari, who has held the vice presidential post for two consecutive terms. Ansari’s tenure will end on August 10.
The Vice President is the second highest constitutional post in India and is also the 'ex-officio' Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.
How is the Vice President of India elected?
The process of election of the Vice President is quite similar to that of the President, but only members of both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha get to vote in the election, while in the Presidential poll MLAs also have the voting right.
Members of Parliament will use special pens for marking their choice in the election to be held between 10 am and 5 pm on Saturday. Votes marked with any other pen are liable to be rejected. The ballot paper shall contain the names of the contesting candidates. There are no election symbol.
Counting of votes will commence soon after polling ends, and the result is expected to be declared by 7 pm.
Strength in Parliament
The total strength of the two Houses is 790. But, two seats are vacant in the Lok Sabha and one in the Rajya Sabha, bringing down the total count to 787.
Of the two seats, one fell vacant when the BJP MP in Lok Sabha, Chhedi Paswan, was barred from casting vote following a judicial pronouncement.
In the 545-member Lok Sabha, 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 Congress has 59 seats.
Political parties of the opposition faction – BJD and JD(U), which supported NDA’s nominee during presidential poll, have decided to back Opposition nominee Gopalkrishna Gandhi in the vice presidential poll.
How is Vice Presidential election different from the Presidential poll?
There are few major differences between the election of the President and the Vice-President.
All elected MPs and MLAs vote for the President while only MPs from both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha vote for the Vice President.
The member nominated can vote for vice presidential election, which is not the case in the presidential election.
The value of each vote is one in vice presidential election while the value of vote of an MP in the presidential election is different. In presidential election, the value of each vote is based on a calculation that includes the population of the state as per the 1971 Census and the number of assembly seats in the state. The value of the vote of an MLA of one state is different from the other.
The winning candidate has to get 51 per cent of the total vote to become the Vice President of India.
NDA's candidate Venkaiah Naidu has an edge over his contender Gopalkrishna Gandhi as BJP has higher number of MPs in Lok Sabha.