Voting for India's new Vice President today: NDA's Jagdeep Dhankar vs Margaret Alvatext_fields
More than a week after India got its first tribal woman President with Droupadi Murmu taking charge, the country is set to get its new Vice President today.
The Vice-Presidential elections will be held in the Parliament House from 10 am to 5 pm today and the results are likely later in the evening.
NDA candidate Jagdeep Dhankar is expected to sail through with BJP support alone. Opposition's Margaret Alva looks set to be a very distant second.
Jagdeep Dhankhar -- best known for his role as the former Governor of Bengal -- can expect 527 votes, far higher than the 372 required to win. Altogether it could be 70 percent of the total votes, two percent more than M Venkaiah Naidu received.
The Electoral College comprises 780 MPs -- 543 in Lok Sabha and 245 in Rajya Sabha. Leaving aside the eight vacant seats in Upper House and the 36 MPs of Trinamool Congress, which decided to abstain from voting, 744 MPs are expected to vote.
The NDA has 441 MPs, including 394 of the BJP. Five nominated members are also supporting the NDA candidate.
Dhankhar also has the support of several other non-NDA parties - Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal, Jaganmohan Reddy's YSR Congress, Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party, Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party, Akali Dal and the Eknath Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena. Together, they have 81 MPs.
Margaret Alva can expect 26 percent votes (around 200). She has the support of Congress, MK Stalin's DMK, Lalu Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal, Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party, and Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party and the Left parties.
Besides, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Aam Aadmi Party, and the nine MPs of Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray faction are supporting Alva
In the last election, Opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi received 32 percent votes.
On Friday, Dhankhar attended a meeting with the BJP MPs in Delhi, where a dummy voting was conducted.
Under the system of proportional representation by a single transferable vote, the elector has to mark preferences against the names of the candidates.