New Delhi, Aug 05: The stage is set to elect the next Vice President of India in an election where NDA candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar is pitted against Opposition’s pick Margaret Alva.
While polling will be held from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday, the ballots will be counted immediately after that.
With numbers stacked in favour of the NDA, Dhankhar, former governor of West Bengal, is set for an easy win.
The 80-year-old Alva is a Congress veteran and has served as governor of Rajasthan, while the 71-year-old Dhankhar is a Jat leader from Rajasthan with socialist background.
NDA VP candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar to file his nomination on Monday
How the number stacked up
At present, there are 790 members in the electoral college–233 elected members and 12 nominated members of the Rajya Sabha, and 543 elected members and two nominated members of the Lok Sabha.
For a candidate to win the vice presidential elections, they will have to secure more than 395 votes in the polling process.
Dhankhar is likely to get two-thirds of the votes as the BJP alone has 91 members in the Rajya Sabha and 303 in the Lok Sabha. Dhankhar will also get the support of regional parties like the YSR Congress Party, Janata Dal (United), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), All India Anna Dravidar Munnetra Kazhagam and the Shiv Sena. With their support, the NDA candidate is likely to get more than 515 votes, which is enough for a comfortable win.
On the other hand, Alva is likely to receive around 190-200 votes.
Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, which has 16 MPs in the Rajya Sabha and 23 in the Lok Sabha, has decided to abstain from the vice presidential elections.
How Vice Presidential is election conducted
The Vice President is elected by an electoral college consisting of members of both Houses of the Parliament, in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote and the voting in such election is by secret ballot.
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The Electoral College to elect a person to the office of the Vice President consists of all members of both Houses of the Parliament.
The Vice President is not a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of a Legislature of any state. If a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of a Legislature of any state is elected as Vice President, he/she is deemed to have vacated his/her seat in that House on the date he/she enters his/her office as Vice President.
A person who wants to contest Vice-President must be
- a citizen of India;
- have completed the age of 35 years, and
- is qualified for election as a member of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha).
- he/she should be a citizen of India, 30 years of age and an elector of the Parliamentary constituency in a State or Union Territory which he/she seeks to be elected to represent.
- A person is not also eligible if he/she holds any office of profit under the Government of India or a State Government or any subordinate local authority.
How Vice President Elections are conducted
The Election Commission of India conducts the election to the office of the Vice President.
Important Provisions relating to the Election of the Vice President:
The election of the next Vice President is to be held within 60 days of the expiry of the term of office of the outgoing Vice President.
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.
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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 whip 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 the Parliament House.
How the votes are counted
The procedure for counting votes consists of the following steps:
The number of first preference votes secured by each candidate is ascertained.
The numbers so ascertained are added up – the total is divided by two and one is added to the quotient disregarding any remainder. The resulting number is the quota sufficient for a candidate to secure his/her return at the election.
If at the end of the first or any subsequent count, the total number of votes credited to any candidate is equal to, or greater than the quota, that candidate is declared elected.
If at the end of any count, no candidate can be declared elected, then;
The candidate who up to the stage has been credited with the lowest number of votes shall be excluded from the poll, and all his/her ballot papers will be again scrutinised, one by one, with reference to the second preference marked, if any, on them.
These ballot papers will be transferred to the respective remaining (continuing) candidates for whom such second preferences have been marked thereon, and the value of votes of those ballot papers credited to such candidates.
These ballot papers shall be transferred to the aforesaid continuing candidate. The ballot papers on which the second preference is not marked shall be treated as exhausted ballot papers and shall not be counted further, even if they contain third or any subsequent preference.
If at the end of this count, some candidate reaches the quota, he/she shall be declared elected.
If at the end of the second count also, no candidate can be declared elected, the counting will proceed still further by the exclusion of the candidate who is now lowest on the poll up to this stage.
All his/her ballot papers, including the ballot papers which he /she might have received during the second count, will again be scrutinised with reference to the ‘next available preference’ marked on each of them.
If on a ballot paper received by him/her in the first count, the second preference is marked for any of the continuing candidates, it shall be transferred to that candidate. If on any such ballot paper, the second preference is marked for the candidate who has already been excluded in the second round, the such ballot paper shall be transferred with reference to the third preference, if any, for a continuing candidate.
Similarly, the ballot papers received by him/her in the second round by way of transfer will also be scrutinised with reference to the third preference marked on them.
This process of exclusion of candidates lowest on the poll will be repeated till one of the continuing candidates reaches the quota.
After the election has been held and the votes have been counted, the Returning Officer declares the result of the election.
Thereafter, he/she reports the result to the Central Government (Ministry of Law & Justice) and the Election Commission of India, and the Central Government publishes the name of the person elected as Vice-President, in the Official Gazette.
Story first published: Friday, August 5, 2022, 17:19 [IST]