Voting to elect a Vice President of the country was underway in Parliament House on Saturday with several prominent leaders of the government and opposition including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Sonia Gandhi casting their votes.
Modi was among the first leaders to vote in a contest in which the ruling NDA’s Jagdeep Dhankhar appears set to win against the opposition candidate Margaret Alva.
Among those who have voted include Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah, BJP President J P Nadda, former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.
The voting by MPs from both the Houses is scheduled between 10 am and 5 pm.
The counting of votes will take place later in the day.
The election is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote.
The BJP alone has 394 of 780 total votes in the electoral college of Vice President which places Dhankhar in a comfortable position against Alva.
Lack of unity among opposition parties has further hurt Alva’s prospects. Mamata Banerjee’s AITC has announced it will abstain from voting. Andhra Pradesh’s ruling YSRCP, Mayawati’s BSP and Naveen Patnaik’s BJD have announced support to the NDA candidate.
The Vice President will take oath on August 14, a day after incumbent M. Venkaiah Naidu’s term expires.
The Vice President is mandated by the constitution to act as the chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.