The vote will take place on Saturday for the election of the country’s new vice-president. The contest pits National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar against joint opposition candidate Margaret Alva. In terms of statistics, victory for former West Bengal Governor Dhankhar seems certain. Differences also emerged between opposition parties over the vice-presidential election as the Trinamool Congress, led by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, announced it would abstain from the voting process, citing attempts not to reach a consensus before Alva’s name was announced.
Alva, 80, is a senior congressional leader and also served as governor of Rajasthan. Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) announced their support for Alva. The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) also supported Alva. Looking at the party support Alva has gotten so far, it is estimated that he can get close to 200 votes.
Jagdeep Dhankhar is 71 years old and belongs to the influential Jat community in Rajasthan. His background is socialist. Janata Dal (United), YSR Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party, AIADMK and Shiv Sena declared their support for Dhankhar and with their backing the NDA candidate is expected to get almost 515 votes.
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Alva made this call before voting
A day before the election, Alva said in a video message: “For parliament to function effectively, MPs need to find ways to build trust among themselves and restore broken dialogue.” Ultimately, it is the members who determine the character of our Parliament. “Now is the time for all parties to come together to build trust between them and restore the dignity of parliament,” he said.
On Thursday, the opposition parties met at dinner
Opposition leader in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge hosted a dinner on Thursday for MPs from all parties who have backed Alva. Dhankhar met with BJP MPs at his residence on Friday. These included Sushil Kumar Modi, Gautam Gambhir, Rajyavardhan Rathod, Rajendra Agarwal. The vote will take place in Parliament from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Shortly after, the votes will be counted and at the end of the evening, the name of the country’s new vice-president will be announced by the returning officer.
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Venkaiah Naidu’s term ends on August 10
Venkaiah Naidu’s term as Vice President ends on August 10 and the new Vice President will be sworn in on August 11. All members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are included in the electoral college for the election of Vice President. Appointed members also have the right to vote. The current membership of parliament is 788, of which only the BJP has 394 MPs. More than 390 votes are needed to win.
Dhankhar and Om Birla belong to the same state
If Dhankhar is elected vice president, it will be a coincidence that the president of the Lok Sabha and the president of the Rajya Sabha will be from the same state. Currently, Om Birla is the Chairman of the Lok Sabha and he represents the Kota parliamentary constituency in Rajasthan. The Vice President is also the ex officio President of the Rajya Sabha.