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The ballot to elect the next vice-president begins; PM Modi and Dr Singh voted

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With the ruling BJP having an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha and 91 members in the Rajya Sabha, Dhankhar has a clear advantage over his rival.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first to vote

Voting to elect India’s next vice president began at 10 a.m., with Prime Minister Narendra Modi among the first to cast ballots.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in a wheelchair and needed help getting up and voting.

CPM MP John Brittas was among those who helped the veteran leader exercise his candor.

The two-term prime minister greeted those present with clasped hands. Interior Minister Amit Shah and Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan were among the leaders who showed up early in parliament.

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Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP Chairman JP Nadda and Commerce Minister and House Leader in Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal arrived together to vote.

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Union State Minister for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh, BJP Chief Whip Rakesh Singh, Telangana MPs Rashtra Samithi and Congress party vote Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Raghu Rama Krishna Raju were among the others who voted so far.

Voting will continue until 5 p.m., after which the counting of ballots will take place. National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate and former Governor of West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar (71) faces off against joint opposition candidate Margaret Alva (80). With the ruling BJP having an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha and 91 members in the Rajya Sabha, Dhankhar has a clear advantage over his rival. He is expected to succeed incumbent M Venkaiah Naidu, whose term ends on August 10.

All Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs, including appointed members, are eligible to vote in the vice-presidential election. The two Houses of Parliament together have a sanctioned strength of 788 MPs, eight of whom are vacant in the Upper House. Thus, 780 deputies are eligible to vote in this election.

(With contributions from the Agency)

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