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The ballot for the vice-presidential election ends; PM Modi, Manmohan Singh, MPs vote

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congresswoman Sonia Gandhi were among the high profile political leaders who cast their ballots in the vice presidential election on Saturday.

Voting to elect the country’s 14th vice president ended at 5 p.m. in parliament. The counting of the votes must begin after the end of the vote. The contest is between NDA candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar, a former governor of West Bengal, and opposition candidate Margret Alva, a former labor minister.

The vice-president is elected by an electoral college composed of members of the two chambers of Parliament, according to the system of proportional representation by single transferable suffrage. Voting is by secret ballot. The electoral college in charge of electing a person to the post of vice-president is composed of all the members of the two chambers of Parliament.

Voting began at 10 a.m. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first leaders to vote. Union ministers Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh and BJP chairman JP Nadda also voted.

Dr Manmohan Singh arrived in a wheelchair to vote. The 89-year-old Congress leader also came to vote in a wheelchair for the presidential elections.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also voted alongside other MPs. The vice president, who is also the president of Rajya Sabha, is not a member of the House.

The country’s next vice president will be sworn in on August 11, a day after outgoing vice president Venkaiah Naidu’s term ends.

Janata Dal (United), YSRCP, BSP, AIADMK expressed their support for Dhankhar. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) expressed their support for Alva. The Trinamool Congress abstained in the vote.

Given the strength of the BJP-led NDA in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and the support for his candidate by some other parties, Dhankhar has a clear advantage in the VP election.

Dhankhar became Governor of West Bengal in July 2019. He tendered his resignation as Governor of West Bengal before submitting his candidacy for the Vice Presidential election.

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