West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar named NDA’s Vice Presidential candidate

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(Online Desk)

The BJP on Saturday named Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar as its Vice-Presidential candidate. The decision was taken during the meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Board earlier in the day.

The ruling NDA’s nominee has an upper hand in the election as it enjoys a majority in the electoral college.

Sources said the BJP will also reach out to various parties to seek a consensus over the choice of the candidate. However, the leaders of Opposition parties will meet on Sunday to discuss their own Vice- Presidential candidate.

The Congress has anointed Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, to reach out to all Opposition leaders to find a consensus candidate. The party has already made it clear that it is not fielding a candidate. With the numbers in favour of the ruling bloc, the contest will be a symbolic one.

The members of the BJP Parliamentary Board include Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari and party president J P Nadda, among others.

polling to elect the next vice president will be held on August 6 and counting of votes will take place the same day, the Election Commission said on Wednesday.

The BJP-led NDA has a clear edge in the poll in which members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, including nominated members, are eligible to vote.

The notification for the election will be issued on July 5, which will set in motion the nomination process. The last date for filing of nomination papers will be July 19.

The scrutiny of nomination papers will be done on July 20 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is July 22. The term of incumbent M Venkaiah Naidu ends on August 10. The vice president is also the chairperson of Rajya Sabha.

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 EC said.

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 cautioned, adding that parties cannot issue whip to its MPs in the matter of voting.

A nomination paper of a candidate has to be subscribed by at least 20 electors as proposers and by at least other 20 electors as seconders.

An elector can subscribe to only one nomination paper of a candidate as either a proposer or a seconder. A candidate can file a maximum of four nomination papers. The security deposit for the election is Rs 15,000.

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 Parliament House.

The schedule for the vice presidential election was finalised at a meeting of Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey.